How does SE (Somatic Experiencing®) work?

Somatic Experiencing®, abbreviated to SE, works less the traumatic event itself than with the response of the body and nervous system to the event. Thus it is possible to work without content or explicit memory, if the event seems too stressful.

The essential elements of SE work are the strengthening of resources and the tracking of bodily sensations, thoughts, feelings and images. Attentive pendulation between resourcing and trauma-related sensations gradually resolves the energy that is held in the nervous system, and the body´s natural response to the threat can be completed.
To allow the body to reorganize and integrate the changes, the discharge happens in small steps and at the client´s own, natural pace. This avoids that the client relives the situation in full emotional charge (catharsis) and so can be overwhelmed and retraumatized.

By gradually discharging and completing the survival reaction, the traumatic symptoms of the organism are no longer needed and can be released. The natural ability of the organism to self-regulate is restored. This is often accompanied by a sense of liberation, ease and gratitude.

As further effects can be shown:

  • increase of lust for life and self-esteem
  • greater resilience and even temper
  • emotional balance, psychological stability
  • relief or freedom of pain and other symptoms
  • restful sleep