Somatic Experiencing

Trauma can be hell on earth, but when transformed, it is a divine gift.”

- Dr. Peter Levine.

What is Somatic Experiencing?

Somatic Experiencing® (SE) is a therapeutic approach developed by Dr. Peter Levine for healing trauma.

Dr Levine based Somatic Experiencing on his observations of wild animals. He noticed that though frequently threatened in their natural environments, wild animals rarely showed trauma symptoms. Through his research, Dr Levine discovered that animals in the wild can easily regulate the high levels of stress or arousal that arises when trying to out run a predator or climb to safety. Wild animals can return to a healthy, relaxed state of being even after being threatened with their lives.

Humans too have this same powerful ability. The problem is our instincts have been overridden and inhibited by our cognitive minds, so returning to this state is challenging.

Without our instinctual systems’ intact, our nervous system has a hard time returning to a healthy set point, which leads to the symptoms we see in girls and young women of trauma.

Somatic Experiencing

When using this method to treat someone recovering from trauma, the traumatic experience itself does not need to be re-lived or re-told for remarkable change to occur. Instead of story-telling, Somatic Experiencing gently supports individuals to access their instincts, innate bodily wisdom and senses. This subtle awareness brought to sensations enables the trauma stored in the body to be released and resolved.

Through the healing journey many women and children often deepen their connection to themselves, gain confidence, resilience and tap into vital strength that enables them to go on to lead powerful lives and connect with one another.

“Empowerment is the acceptance of personal authority. It derives from the capacity to choose the direction and execution of one’s own energies.”

– Dr Peter Levine.

Art to Healing have partnered with The Lotus Centre International (USA) and many other expertly trained Somatic Experiencing® Practitioners to offer a combined SE and art therapy program to support trauma recovery in sex slavery victims and those impacted by natural disasters.

Alongside The Lotus Centre International, we are pioneering research and professional development programs that combine SE and art therapy. These cutting-edge programs and the research behind them enable Art to Healing to deliver the best possible support to women and children affected by sex slavery and exploitation, from those living in shelters, to women and children who having healed their trauma now provide care and support to others who are still recovering.

“Trauma is a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to be a life sentence. We do not have to cling to the past, reliving devastating events again and again. By gently awakening this innate capacity for resilience that we share with all living organisms, the straitjacket is loosened. As we are unbound from the past, new possibilities unfold. Our ability to be in the present expands, revealing the timeless essence of the “now”.

Trauma can be hell on earth, but when transformed, it is a divine gift.”

- Dr. Peter Levine.



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