Somatic Experiencing Trauma Therapy
JOY Coaching using Somatic Experiencing:
PACK OF 10: $1000
*This package needs to be purchased 2/28/19 AND used by 5/1/19.
Inspiration not motivation for reaching and completing goals.
SE is so weird and badass. It’s a completely different way to approach making healthy shifts in the body which translate (DIRECTLY I have found) to being able to set, stick with and actually COMPLETE goals. This body-orientated approach helps free trauma that has been stored for sometimes a very long time.
Trauma, who has trauma?
Most everyone has experienced trauma at some point in their lives. Trauma is not just related to gigantic events, although some of us have had plenty of those. There are many somewhat common traumas that most of us don’t even register as traumatic as they are such a typical part of life. What is often perceived as lack of motivation is actually trauma blocking the ability to stick with intentions that lead to achieving goals. Examples of these under appreciated traumas are:
- So many humans are literally living in a state of unremitting stress response (fight/flight/freeze). This state of arousal is designed to be used occasionally for very short periods of time and it is traumatic to the system when it is ongoing.
- Who knew? But being ignored as a child is actually more impactful than direct physical maltreatment.
- Most of us have had some small, medium or gigantic loss in this journey called life. Because it is so common, there is often a lack of completion as we are expected to move on or “get over it” before the body, mind and spirit are truly done processing the change.
- Being raised with conflict between the primary caregivers is quite common but can have significant rippling effects well into one’s adult life.
Then there’s the bigger more recognized occurrences associated with trauma like:
- Accidents both big or small
- Invasive medical procedures. This is perhaps a little less known, but especially when you are unconscious for any type of procedure, the body can experience immobility as inability to defend one’s self and it registers as trauma.
- Any type of physical assault.
- Emotional abuse.
- Natural disasters. Again, the powerlessness of being able to control one’s surrounding is traumatic to the organism.
How we store trauma and completion of the cycle
When the body isn’t given the time or have the capacity to fully process trauma, that energy gets bound up in the body.
Here’s a simple example: You are driving along with your family in the car or in my case, my four dogs, and out of nowhere a big huge truck almost hits you. The system will register a healthy (expected) stress response to almost being crushed by the big huge truck. But once you know you are fine, most of us just continue driving along to that next appointment or in my case out to the trail for our hike. The body has not been given proper time to process that fear and allow its release, so it just gets stored. We don’t even know it’s been stored because we are used to living with stressors like this daily. This bound up energy may or may not manifest in trauma symptoms right away but in all likelihood, this energy will come out sideways at some point.
Spending some time reviewing the trauma with the SE approach will allow the body to process what happened and release any negative effects.
What do you mean come out sideways?
Have you ever wondered why you don’t do what it is you KNOW is best for you? Often, we think we just don’t have the willpower, or motivation. But truthfully, it is the stored trauma and energy coming out in ways that are seemingly unrelated that is creating inability to follow through with goals, dreams and intentions. This is the subconscious (the body) driving the bus. We often think we are in charge of our decisions and actions with our conscious mind, but sorry to say… we are NOT. The subconscious (the body) is really the one at the wheel almost ALL THE TIME.
And the subconscious taking charge of the driving can not only affect our behaviors, but it definitely affects our thoughts. The subconscious thoughts that are not being brought to light will and do block our attempts at manifesting. So that vision board is awesome but if there’s a stinky belief or thought dwelling in the subconscious that says, you don’t deserve it, you can’t follow through to attain it or some other rotten thing, it going to be significantly harder to bring in those lovely images you so carefully pasted in place with the best of intentions.
Thankfully If we can acknowledge our trauma, the most important question becomes, what can be done about it? SE to the rescue.
How does SE work?
Okay, the SE approach is about bottom up processing. Rather than doing a lot of talking, aka rehashing about what happened which allows the brain to interfere with the healing, SE allows the body to “talk”. It’s cool because the body often has a VERY different story to tell than the personality that is doing all the talking. Not going to lie, when I first started SE therapy, I cannot tell you how many times I thought, “I’m paying good money for this?!? How in the world can this be helping me when my therapist keeps interrupting my stories and gently insists that I sense into what my body is feeling?” Because I am so wired and used to analyzing everything from my mind, it was very challenging for me to access my body sensations and describe them. Even more challenging was to then stay with the sensations long enough for them to release. Further, when asked to “explore” some of the involuntary movements that my body was making by slowing them down, I was stunned at the small to sometimes quite large emotional release that would occur. It was just so unexpected as there was so little verbal communication involved. It was frustrating, weird, uncomfortable, exciting and most of all… helpful. How lovely that it was helpful in spite of my not so great attitude toward it.
It’s all about Titration
The SE approach helps the body to COMPLETE responses that have become thwarted during the course of continuing on with our lives after a traumatic event. This completion happens by RELEASING the survival energy that is bound up in the body. This is done in a gentle titrated process to allow healing without creating more trauma. GRADUALLY one learns to tolerate difficult bodily sensations and feel emotions that have been suppressed. In the case of healing trauma, Slow is Real.
Just in case you need a little more clarification on Titration:
Titration in a chemistry lab is the art of adding one substance to another substance in a slow measured way to create the solution or the mixture wanted without creating an unwanted harmful chemical reaction.
In SE that idea translates as slowly working with bits and pieces of trauma to allow the body to heal, release and unwind without creating an unwanted harmful reaction (aka re-traumatizing). Titration is the opposite of trauma. Trauma is fast and too much. Titration is slow and just a little bit at a time.
A Big Round of Applause for your body!
The body’s natural intelligence in storing what cannot be processed until later AND then allowing the release with some guided help is magnificent. Seriously the body’s intelligence is just so impressive. It is miraculous really and should not be underestimated or under appreciated. Let’s just take a moment here and give your body a big THANK YOU for being so incredibly awesome… well done body… woot woot!
MORE COOL STUFF about manifesting and reaching goals…
Another great SE tool is called resourcing. Resourcing is organizing the body so it can orient to pleasure. We are wired to look for and focus on what isn’t going well so we can survive. Historically this has been important and even now, it can be helpful at times. Learning how to resource to pleasurable things, no matter how small they are, help the system to pendulate, reorganize and regulate. Orientating to pleasure also sets up gratitude. When it comes to manifesting, living in a state of gratitude is the cornerstone to bringing in what you truly desire to have in your life.
Last little bit for now…
SE is not a quick fix but the time and energy spent allowing the system to recalibrate has been life altering for me. This unique approach to unblocking what keeps us from living our best lives is as powerful as it is interesting and unexpected.