Somatic Experiencing

Somatic Experiencing® at GW Center for Integrative Medicine

At GW Center for Integrative medicine, we are dedicated to your overall well-being, and that includes helping you heal from the effects of trauma. Trauma can manifest in various ways, affecting both your emotional and physical health. Somatic Experiencing is a powerful approach designed to support you in overcoming the effects of trauma on your physiology.

What Is Somatic Experiencing?

Somatic Experiencing is a therapeutic modality developed by Dr. Peter A. Levine, designed to address the lasting impact of trauma on the body and mind. Trauma can result from a wide range of experiences, from accidents and natural disasters to emotional or interpersonal events. It is not just about what happened but how your body and nervous system responded to it.  Not all traumatic events lead to lasting physiological changes, our inherent resilience often plays a sufficient protective role. Nevertheless, there are instances where the intensity or frequency of certain events may challenge the full integration of these experiences.  Long term on-going chronic stress can create similar changes in nervous system.

Somatic Experiencing is a prominent modality in a group of several somatic therapies (EMDR, Hakomi, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, etc) being acknowledged for its focus on safe and organic healing of autonomic nervous system.

How Does Somatic Experiencing Work?

Somatic Experiencing is based on the understanding that our physiological response to traumatic events can be disrupted and left unprocessed, leading to symptoms such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and emotional distress. This approach focuses on resolving the trapped physical and emotional energy stored in the body.

Here’s how it works:

  • Safe and Supportive Environment: In a confidential and compassionate setting, our trained Somatic Experiencing practitioner will guide you through the process.
  • Mindful Awareness: You’ll learn to increase your awareness of bodily sensations, helping you reconnect with your body’s innate ability to heal.
  • Titration: Somatic Experiencing involves gently exploring your traumatic experiences in manageable “doses,” allowing your nervous system to process the trauma without becoming overwhelmed.
  • Resourcing: You’ll develop internal and external resources to help you feel safe and grounded during the healing process.
  • Release and Integration: Through this method, you can safely release the stored energy and integrate your experiences in a way that increases capacity of your nervous system to process stress.

Who Can Benefit From Somatic Experiencing?

Somatic Experiencing is beneficial for individuals dealing with various types of trauma, including:

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety and Panic Disorders
  • Chronic Pain
  • Emotional Distress
  • Grief and Loss
  • Accidents and Injuries
  • Long term on-going stress

Our provider:

Angela Gabriel is a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) and a licensed acupuncturist (LAc). Her unique approach combines Somatic Experiencing with the complementary benefits of various types of bodywork and Chinese Medicine. Angela specializes in working with clients who are already engaged in psychotherapy. She brings her expertise in SE touch to enhance therapeutic and trauma work, creating a significant impact on the healing process. For comprehensive trauma therapy services at GW center for Integrative Medicine, please refer to our Integrative Mental Health services.

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