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Somatic Experiencing Therapy

Traumatic events can impact an individual’s physical and psychological state, leaving them deeply affected and unable to cope. Somatic Experiencing (SE) therapy can be a solution to these constant stress responses by exploring aspects of positive psychology, such as values, strengths and self-compassion. Read on to see if SE therapy can benefit you.

 


The Sanctuary at Sedona founder Dean Taraborelli discusses our unique non-12 Step program for alcohol addiction recovery and trauma healing.

 

What Is Somatic Experiencing Therapy? | Benefits of SE Therapy | What to Expect in an SE Therapy Session

What Is Somatic Experiencing Therapy?

SE therapy falls under the category of mind-body treatments, relating to acknowledging the traumatic experience and learning how to live with it. Clients can pay more attention to their bodies and explore sensations such as the following:

  • Interoceptive: The internal awareness of the body
  • Proprioceptive: The spatial orientation of the body
  • Kinesthetic: The movements of the body

When someone experiences a traumatic event, the trauma will reside in their body. However, unlike most forms of therapy, SE does not focus on evoking traumatic memories. Instead, it approaches the memories through the body, promoting a safer and more comfortable bodily experience. Some techniques include:

  • Grounding exercises
  • Guided imagery
  • Bodily awareness and sensations
  • Detailed descriptions
  • Boundary strengthening
  • Emotional resources
  • Tension and emotional release
  • Physical tool development

Benefits of SE Therapy

Anyone can use SE therapy as an alternative to regular talk therapy for the following mental and physical health conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Addiction
  • Depression
  • Grief
  • Stress
  • Digestive disorders
  • Chronic pain

The primary reason people turn to SE therapy is to release the emotional trauma trapped in the body. If you use SE therapy, you can benefit from the following:

  • Released stress and anxiety: Feel better physically and emotionally to focus on your recovery.
  • Being present: Experience how your body feels without pressures, anxiety and judgment of others.
  • Healthy self-regulation: Develop healthy coping mechanisms to use in real-world situations.
  • Detachment from toxic experiences and people: Become aware of toxic experiences and people and learn how to avoid them.
  • A gentle approach: Learn mindfulness and become calmer more naturally.

What to Expect in an SE Therapy Session

To prepare for an SE therapy session, be prepared to share your trauma history with your therapist. In the first session, they may ask about your health history and answer questions you may have about treatment. However, this is your therapy, so you may only answer the questions you feel most comfortable with. As your therapy continues, you may begin feeling safe to share more.

From there, each session will incorporate finding triggering events and getting to the root of the problem. Your therapist will then provide sensations of calmness and safety. You will alternate between these extremes to recognize your internal state and reconnect with your body.

Holistic SE Therapy for Addiction Recovery

At The Sanctuary, we focus on SE therapy for addiction recovery. A traumatic or triggering event can lead an individual to a harmful substance, and we work to reverse those feelings in a safe environment. You are not alone — we will be with you each step of the way. Contact The Sanctuary at Sedona today to learn more about our holistic approach to addiction recovery.

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