My path to Somatic Experiencing®

I was first exposed to Somatic Experiencing, and the work of Peter Levine, when I was working as a social worker for a crisis response agency in 2001. His book, “Waking the Tiger” provided such a rich, complete explanation for what symptoms and experiences I was seeing people go through during my time of psycho social assessments, suicide prevention, and phone support. To understand that focusing on the body, not just the brain, was such a radical concept for me. So profound that I found myself studying how effective body based therapies were in my pursuit of a masters in social work. Eventually I let go of pursuing a masters to focus on working directly with the body. It led me to becoming a practitioner of Rolfing Structural Integration just as Peter had done early in his career. I’ve helped a lot of people in my Rolfing practice with pain and discomfort find freedom of movement and joy but there was always something missing in the process for me. It wasn’t until I had run into problems myself and sought out the help of a Somatic Experience practitioner that I fully understood the depth and wholeness of this work. As we tied together what I was thinking, saying, and feeling back to my body’s response, I was able to release stored energy that I’d been carrying around in my body, in some instances, all my life. With this release, I was experiencing some of the greatest structural changes I’d ever felt without my SE practitioner laying a hand on me. These body changes spoke to me greatly as only these kinds of experiences can. And the work of releasing accumulated stress or trauma, affected not only me but the everyone else in my life. There is something amazingly simple and yet extremely profound in this work that creates room in body, mind and spirit for me to be a happy, healthy person.