Bridging the Mind-Body Divide
In a previous blog, we discussed somatic therapy and its benefits in treating trauma. To recap, somatic therapy is a way to bridge the mind-body divide. People with trauma in their history often have chronic physical responses to triggers associated with their traumatic experiences. For example, adrenaline surges and the heart races as the body reacts to what it perceives as a threat. It’s a fight-flight-or-freeze response gone awry. Furthermore, it’s at the heart of anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more. Somatic therapy is a means to regain control of that response. This week, we’d like to talk in-depth about a specialized method of this type of therapy: Somatic Experiencing.
What is Somatic Experiencing?
Dr. Peter Levine began to develop Somatic Experiencing in the late 1970s after studying the ways in which animals deal with stress. Though animals are under constant threat of death, they rarely show symptoms of trauma. Furthermore, he reasoned that the large amount of energy produced in a fight-flight-or-freeze response needs to discharge. In humans, this discharge of energy can be disrupted by an incomplete immobility phase, or freeze response. Somatic Experiencing is a way to work off this stored energy. Ultimately, this will get the rational mind and instinctual body back on the same page.
How It Works
Somatic Experiencing takes clients through a four-part process. First, the therapist teaches clients about their autonomic nervous system and how to recognize bodily sensations and physical symptoms. Additionally, clients learn how to “resource,” or call upon pleasant memories during triggering situations. Once they’ve shown an aptitude for resourcing, the therapist will gradually revisit the trauma in a controlled setting. Together, therapist and client will notice the physical changes in the body that arise such as increased breath rate, clenched fists, dizziness, etc. In the final phase, or pendulation, the therapist helps the client move from this agitated state back to calmness using the resourcing techniques. Over the course of treatment, the body releases the energy associated with trauma and clients are able to react rationally to triggers.
Innovative, Creative Care
With integrity, compassion, and spirituality, Creative Care offers a holistic, whole-person approach to trauma treatment. To this end, we feature a fully equipped staff. For instance, that includes a consulting psychiatrist, psychotherapists, registered nurses, counselors, and other highly trained professionals, all expertly trained to deal with trauma. Furthermore, we personalize our treatment services to get to the root of each client’s needs. For example, those services may include:
- Family or couples therapy
- Art therapy
- Nutrition therapy
- Equine therapy
- Yoga and other relaxation therapy
In sum, we work as a team to create your ideal recovery plan. If you or someone you love is suffering from untreated trauma, start the recovery process today by calling Creative Care at 855-954-0762.