somatic experiencing

How Can Somatic Experiencing Therapy Help Trauma?

Incessant stress and psychological disturbance can be reactions to deep-rooted traumatic incidents that haunt people for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, somatic experiencing has proven to be an effective therapy to treat PTSD and help to heal trauma. 

Post-traumatic Stress  Disorder impairs feelings of safety and can cause unbearable symptoms that make it almost impossible to get on with your life. 

somatic experiencing

What is Psychological Trauma? 

Symptoms of lingering trauma range from emotional distress, panic attacks, flashbacks, and nightmares to peculiar physical disorders like headaches, pain, or nausea in the event of a stressful situation.  The range of symptoms is wide and varied including relational disconnection from self and others, along with disconnection from one’s own physical sense. 

There are multiple types of trauma. A shock trauma or acute trauma refers to a single overwhelming incident like car accidents, death of loved ones or natural disasters. Complex trauma occurs when a person undergoes multiple traumatic events. When trauma continues over a period of time this is called complex trauma. 

There are other descriptions of trauma like developmental trauma, vicarious trauma, and historical or intergenerational trauma, but all of these have the fundamental unsettling elements which were earlier described. Often individuals are not aware of their trauma, it can be neglect or bullying, it can be emotional, physical or sexual abuse, and it can come from seeing abuse of others or having parents, grandparents or even further back intergenerational traumas. 

Unresolved trauma can lead to many physical or mental dilemmas such as sleep disorders, immune system problems, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What is Somatic Experiencing?

Treating trauma is essential. There are many treatment methods used to help heal from trauma such as affect regulation, art therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness therapy, EMDR, etc. One of the methods that have proven to be most effective is a form of therapy which incorporates a focus on the body and its sensations.   

Somatic Experiencing (SE) can be used to help people in any stage of treatment and focuses on the body and its sensations.  

In these sessions, the therapist will slowly and gently introduce small amounts of traumatic material to process while the patient observes their bodily reaction. Patients will be guided to follow their breath and notice sensations in their body. Therapists will help patients follow these sensations to bring them to a point of discharge and completion to support the “unfreezing,” of certain bodily reactions to trauma. 

By processing and discharging sensations clients can increase their capacity for self-regulation self-soothing. Through focusing on the body, somatic experiencing offers a pathway to work with both physical and emotional symptoms that have been causing distress.   Here at Trauma and Beyond Psychological Center ®, our goal is to help clients to integrate and process trauma in a gentle way. 

Somatic experiencing can help restore balance to the nervous system which can have a profound effect on emotions as well.

For more information, contact us by sending an email to or use the contact form on our website.

Number: (818) 651-0725

Address: 14156 Magnolia Blvd. Suite 101, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423