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An Interview with Peter Levine

Somatic Experiencing Offers Something That Conventional Talk Therapy Doesn't

Peter Levine, Peter Levine

By Peter Levine - To many therapists, Somatic Experiencing (SE) still seems bit mysterious, even mystical. Here, SE pioneer Peter Levine describes what a first session looks like and the skills an SE therapist needs to have.

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The Bottom-Up Approach of Somatic Experiencing

A Close-Up Look at Peter Levine's Work with a Trauma Survivor

Lauren Dockett, Lauren Dockett

By Lauren Dockett - Peter Levine is the originator of a form of body psychotherapy called Somatic Experiencing (SE), a captivating but sometimes puzzling approach. Instead of asking questions about events that might elicit pain, Levine focuses on the body, zeroing in meticulously on what’s happening in the moment. Here's how it unfolded with his patient, TJ.

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VIDEO: Peter Levine on Trauma Treatment's "Greatest Tool"

Tapping into the Power of the Body

Peter Levine, Peter Levine

According to trauma specialist Peter Levine, the body is the therapist's greatest tool in helping clients understand and heal from a traumatic event. So rather than focus on the event itself, Levine asks clients to focus on how their body manifests the trauma. In this brief video clip, he shares his method.

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VIDEO: Peter Levine's Somatic Tools for Self-Soothing

Creating a Path to Client Independence

Peter Levine, Peter Levine

Often, traumatized clients find that they become dependent on their therapists to help them handle their extreme emotional states. But according to Peter Levine, originator of Somatic Experiencing Therapy, the key to helping clients achieve more autonomy is giving them tools that enable them to better regulate their own body states.

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VIDEO: Peter Levine on the Art of Noticing

See Somatic Experiencing in Motion with This Clip from an Actual Session

Peter Levine, Peter Levine

Among the first to fully realize that humans have an innate psychophysiological capacity for overcoming trauma and recovering physical and emotional wholeness, Peter Levine developed Somatic Experiencing, a simple yet profoundly effective mind-body healing technique. In this video clip, he shows how simply noticing a client's body sensations can lead to therapeutic breakthroughs.

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VIDEO: Diane Poole Heller on the Hidden Capabilities of Trauma Survivors

Watch as a Traumatized Client Taps Into a Wellspring of Healing in an Actual Session

Diane Poole Heller, Diane Poole Heller

Think all traumatized clients are shut-down and energy-sapped? Think again. In this clip from her Networker Symposium Keynote, "Creating a Corrective Emotional Experience," trauma specialist Diane Poole Heller shares a clip from an actual session, where she guides a client in tapping into a hidden wellspring of energy that leaves them feeling refreshed, happy, and safe.

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Connecting Emotions to a Felt Body Sense

Using the Body to Help Clients Break Old Habits and Stuck Patterns

Daniel Leven, Daniel Leven

By Daniel Leven - Many therapists remain so focused on understanding the thoughts and feelings in clients’ minds that they forget about the pivotal information to be gleaned by paying more attention to clients’ bodies. The three-step somatic process below can be used with just about any therapeutic approach, and it will help you directly access the important information that lives within clients’ immediate physical experience.

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The Precarious Present

Why is it So Hard to Stay in the Moment?

Robert Scaer, Robert Scaer

When a client reports repetitive intrusions, we may wonder about a tendency toward obsessiveness or the possibility of depression and/or anxiety. While all of these interpretations may have some validity, I believe that much more is at stake. I propose that in many of these moments of body-mind intrusion, our brain is trying to protect us from mortal danger arising from memories of old, unresolved threats. In short, we're in survival mode.

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Managing Transference and Countertransference in Somatic Therapy

Does Body-Oriented Therapy Increase the Risk of Transference and Countertransference Responses?

Mary Sykes Wylie, Mary Sykes Wylie

Therapeutic skeptics still cite the possibility of stirring up intense transference and countertransference responses as a compelling reason not to use more body-oriented approaches. But therapists who work somatically maintain that transference and countertransference are no more a problem for highly trained and skilled body psychotherapists than for well-trained talk therapists.

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