Somatic Experiencing in Southend-on-Sea & Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

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Somatic Experiencing

We offer somatic experiencing in Southend at The Body Matters. Kristin is a Somatic Practitioner with 10 years experience of working with chronic pain and complex symptoms. She is available at her practice in Leigh-on-Sea as well as online via zoom.

What is Somatic Experiencing?

Somatic Experiencing is a body-oriented approach to resolving trauma.  It was developed by clinical psychologist Dr Peter Levine, the author of “Wakening the Tiger” and “In An Unspoken Voice”. 

Psychotherapy and most traditional talking therapies use a “top-down” approach, which means that they will access their cognitive brain and understanding of an event to resolve the lingering symptoms of past traumas. Along with other body-oriented therapies, Somatic Experiencing uses a “bottom-up” approach to healing trauma.  This means we work with the physiological symptoms relating to past trauma to release what is held in the body and to shift meanings and beliefs through tracking the felt sense. 

Why Choose Somatic Experiencing?

Many people are drawn to Somatic Experiencing because they find that the physical symptoms of hypervigilance, chronic pain, anxiety, and exhaustion are hard to access or shift through cognitive therapies. As Psychologist Albert Wong says “You can’t think your way out of trauma.” However, Somatic Experiencing requires the client to play an active role in their recovery and a willingness to engage with the body and the sensations that present themselves.

How Does Somatic Experiencing Work?

According to Peter Levine trauma is something that happens “too much, too fast, too soon.” In some cases, it may be one sudden big event, like a car crash. In other cases, it may be many small events that happened earlier in life and make us vulnerable to further incidences, that continue to have a strong impact on our nervous system. Talking about past trauma can easily be re-traumatising, but also connecting with our body in a deeper way can mean we are faced with the full intensity of trauma trapped in our body. 

Somatic Experiencing has been specifically developed to work with the complexity of trauma in a holistic way. The process is slow and gradual in order to avoid re-traumatisation. The first emphasis is put on building a level of resilience, safety and the mind-body connection. When we feel more resourced and stable, it is less overwhelming to get in touch with small amounts of traumatic memory or symptoms.  The process is slow and subtle to give our body the time and space it needs to re-negotiate what happened or to explore uncompleted fight or flight responses. 

Somatic Experiencing mainly targets the autonomic nervous system and is scientifically based in neuroscience. Commonly Somatic Experiencing is done seated, however, due to its holistic approach, sessions can also include therapeutic touch work or movement where appropriate.

What Can Somatic Experiencing Help Me With?

Somatic Experiencing has shown particularly effective in the treatment of shock trauma (sudden events that changed us from a well functioning human being to being unable to cope.) and symptoms of PTSD.  However, it also is very effective in the treatment of developmental trauma (difficult events that happened during childhood and teenage and that still affect the person in adult life). 

As Somatic Experiencing is a body-oriented therapy it is also very effective in the treatment of chronic pain, chronic fatigue, anxiety disorders, digestive disorders and migraines, as these are physical conditions often linked to a traumatised or imbalanced nervous system. 

Due to a focus on building embodied resilience, Somatic Experiencing can also be used in order to grow confidence, overcome fears or get more in touch with our authentic uncompromised self. This can be particularly useful for those with social anxiety as well as performers, public speakers and others who work in the public eye.

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Call The Body Matters on 01702 714968 for more information about Somatic Experiencing in Southend-on-Sea and Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.
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We are open on weekdays and Saturdays, with early morning and evening appointments available on request. We offer remote consultations to provide our services without physical interaction.

To book an appointment telephone 01702 714968 or click here to send us an email.