Often, traumatized clients find themselves becoming 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 by giving them tools that enable them to better regulate their own body states.
In this brief video clip, Peter demonstrates a body awareness technique that includes loud, vibrating deep breaths to help clients minimize anxiety and self-soothe.
“The shutting down, collapsing response in trauma is associated with high vagal activity,” says Peter, referring to the vagus nerve that connects the brainstem with the heart. “This exercise shifts the messages that the gut is sending to the brain. It’s similar to a lighthouse making sounds to guide boats to safe harbor.”