Somatic Experiencing – for shock trauma & chronic pain/illness

What is Somatic Experiencing® (SE)?
Somatic Experiencing® is a body-awareness approach to trauma being taught throughout the world. It is the result of over forty years of observation, research, and hands-on development by Dr. Peter Levine. Based upon the realization that human beings have an innate ability to overcome the effects of trauma, Somatic Experiencing has touched the lives of many thousands. SE® restores self-regulation, and returns a sense of aliveness, relaxation and wholeness to traumatized individuals who have had these precious gifts taken away. Peter has applied his work to combat veterans, rape survivors, Holocaust survivors, auto accident and post surgical trauma, chronic pain sufferers, and even to infants after suffering traumatic births.

“I give thanks for help unknown, already on its way.”                               — Peter Levine, in one of the exercises on the CD from his book  Healing Trauma A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body


For a description with helpful diagrams of how healthy, settled nervous systems work, what dysregulated, traumatized nervous systems do and how to get back to settled calm see “SE Maps for Recovery: SE Maps for recovery   (It may take a while to download – there are several diagrams.)  Some of these diagrams come from . 

“We could say that somatic work intends to harness the plasticity of the brain and nervous system, that it seeks to stimulate dendritic growth and neural connectivity by supporting the biological completion of developmental tasks and disruptive traumatic events.”                — Aline LaPierre

 A map of the ways energy moves through the body after coming unstuck from the trauma vortex:  7 Diaphragms + pranic body copy

Peter’s latest book: In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness offers a description of how trauma and distress impact the G-I system.    Learning to Understand the Language of the Gut is based on his description of based on “Tummy Talk” in Chapter 6, begining p.120.

Recognizing, understanding and healing early developmental challenges or trauma may be crucial for deeper healing of major health syndromes like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, IBS, migraines and autoimmune disease: Please see   Illness and Early Trauma/Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on this website:


Somatic Experiencing Books, Articles and a game:                                                        An interview with Peter Levine describing how he worked with his own sudden impact accident – click on A Personal Experience of Trauma to access the whole article at that point.

The New Traumatology & the Trauma Spectrum: A conversation between Dr. Robert Scaer and Anthony “Twig” Wheeler Part 1: Part 2:

Somatic Experiencing for chronic disease and chronic pain Healing Trauma Through the Body: The Way in is the Way Out An in-depth case study working with food sensitivities, digestive disturbances, insomnia and anxiety.  by Ariel Giarretto


Freedom from Pain: Discover Your Body’s Power to Overcome Physical Pain  by Peter A. Levine and Maggie Phillips   “Whether you’re seeking to begin a self-care strategy or amplify your current treatment program, Freedom from Pain will provide you with proven tools to help you experience long-term relief.”

Go to "Freedom from Pain: Discover Your Body's Power to Overcome Physical Pain" page   Book and CD           stand-alone CD version

Informed by their founding work in the Somatic Experiencing® process and unique insights gleaned from decades of clinical success, Drs. Levine and Phillips will show you how to:

  • Calm the body’s overreactive “fight” response to pain
  • Release the fear, frustration, and depression intensified by prior traumas, and build inner resilience and self-regulation
  • Relieve pain caused by the aftermath of injuries, surgical procedures, joint and muscle conditions, migraines, and other challenges


Reversing Chronic Pain


Reversing Chronic Pain: A 10-Point All-Natural Plan for Lasting Relief by Maggie Phillips, “Maggie Phillips uses her considerable expertise in hypnosis, Somatic Experiencing©, and the treatment of pain to create an intelligent, holistic, refreshing new roadmap for reversing pain. Her approach is smart and sophisticated, yet user-friendly and accessible. Most important, her methods work.”  —Belleruth Naparstek, LISW, author of Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal and creator of the Health Journeys guided imagery audio series

For our children: Trauma Through A Child’s Eyes Peter A. Levine, Ph.D. and Maggie Kline, MS, MFT,M3,07dfbdaa-e2a4-4ae0-a3ad-59ad18ca8994

The Sensation Game: sensation-game-se for building self-regulation skills in children and teens who have experienced a significant trauma and may feel shut down, “disconnected” or numb. It helps children and families feel more connected ~ to their own nervous systems, to each other, and to the world around them.