Hello dear readers,
I am writing this post to detail how my personal Somatic Experiencing (SE for short) sessions are starting to tap into profound material. First a brief description of “What is SE?” Then I will mention a couple of auspicious dreams I had when I was first deciding whether or not to take the SE training. And finally, I will discuss how my current experience of SE is starting to look a lot like those incredible dreams!
Somatic Experiencing is: (this description comes from one of my mentors, Andrea Gage)
SE is a short-term naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing of trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine and is supported by research. It is based upon the observation that wild prey animals, though threatened routinely, are rarely traumatized. Animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated with defensive survival behaviors. These mechanisms provide animals with a built-in “immunity’’ to trauma that enables them to return to normal in the aftermath of highly ‘’charged’’ life-threatening experiences.
- SE employs awareness of body sensation to help people “renegotiate” and heal rather than re-live or re-enact trauma.
- SE’s guidance of the bodily “felt sense,” allows the highly aroused survival energies to be safely experienced and gradually discharged.
- SE may employ touch in support of the renegotiation process.
- SE “titrates” experience (breaks down into small, incremental steps), rather than evoking catharsis – which can overwhelm the regulatory mechanisms of the organism.
SE is a supplementary modality – meaning it can stand on its own for a few sessions, however it is designed to fuse seamlessly with other modalities – like psychotherapy, counseling, bodywork and even yoga or chiropractic work.
In my work, I am a licensed massage therapist, I have Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy training, along with Pre- and Perinatal Psychology (birth process work) training and more. So I use SE within the scope of practice of a licensed bodyworker.
SE is an expensive training to complete. To go through all 3 years of 36 days worth of training modules, and to complete the 36 hours of required supervision and case consult time, it can cost upwards of $15,000. This is not a cheap proposition! So it makes sense that 4 years ago I was on the fence about whether or not to start this training.
One of the deciding factors for me, was a dream I had when I signed up for my first info session (about SE). I dreamt that I was in another dream. And in this dream within a dream, I was doing SE and birth process work with a mother and baby. Like I was treating them – but in ways I had never seen up to that point.
Then when I paid for the first module ($900 for 4 days), I had another similar profound and touching dream! So at that point, I was thinking, these are amazing signs. I think I will try to see this training through to the end!
Fast forward to this past month… I have completed the SE training, working with amazing faculty members, along with incredible practitioners to complete my case consult hours and my personal session hours. I highly recommend Andrea Gage btw – even if you are not SE trained, she is very competent! https://easethebody.com/ Among other great practitioners.
I have been working with her for a couple months now. I have done a TON of personal growth work on myself up to this point – having been practicing and receiving bodywork since 2003 (CST, massage, rolfing, zero balancing, acupuncture and much more) plus completing several years of PPN (pre- and perinatal psychology / birth process work) training. Oh – and I am a dedicated Tibetan Buddhist practitioner (since 2005). So what I am about to describe is not coming “out of nowhere…”
In a recent session, I mentioned how it was hard for me to let go of someone in my life. After working through several other possibilities, she said to me, “is it possible you had a past life with this person?” And I said “Yes.”
Then when I described this past life – how I lost them in a past life but did not have time to grieve before I also died – she said it made more sense. And that we needed to go back into that past life (in my mind’s eye as it were), and do some SE work.
In other words, we needed to go back into that past life memory, and slow it down a lot, such that I would be able to actually grieve and let go of the person and allow that past life to have completion. WOW! WOW! WOW!
This is like those auspicious dreams I had 4 years ago… except they are starting to come true in my real waking life! Whoa!
Doing SE in a dream within a dream.
I am very happy to have gone through this SE training. So grateful to have met some incredible practitioners and teachers along the way! There are many trauma resolution modalities and many incredible teachers out there. You do not need to do SE to get these tools under your belt – it is one way, and it is a darned good tool. Plus, for me anyway, SE has opened up so many options and new skillful ways of offering treatment sessions. I understand the nervous system better. And I know when to apply which interventions to get someone’s system to move toward repair and greater wholeness. So so grateful for all my training and all my teachers!
Thank you for reading!