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What is Somatic Experiencing®?

Somatic Experiencing or SE is a form of body centred trauma therapy that was created by the renowned psychologist Peter Levine, author of the seminal book ‘Waking the Tiger’.

The session form is seated talking therapy, where the therapist supports the client to access and relay their bodily experience, including sensations, images, behaviours, memories and emotions that are present. SE works with the biological survival mechanisms of fight, flight and freeze to restore balance to the nervous system. Using interventions, the therapist supports this journey, ‘shepherding’ arousal and discharge cycles of the nervous system, integrating and restoring balance.

SE is useful for a full range of disorders, from acute episodes such as physiological stress resulting from high impact events such as a car accident, to the everyday accumulation of stress from destructive lifestyles and relationships.

SE is unlike traditional therapy in that the balancing affect on the nervous system begins from the first session. The initial sessions will hopefully yield noticeable benefits for the client. Some clients choose to finish working after 10 sessions, while others continue over an extended period.

Why Somatic Experiencing?

SE is an effective and fast way to restore balance to the nervous system. It helps heal trauma, but like all good trauma healing methods it should not be overwhelming. Contemporary SE models guide the client within comfortable limits. Sessions feel contained and are often described as a meditative experience, even when we may be working with intense content. 

SE Sessions last 1 hour. They are seated. Typically sessions are talking, with guidance from the therapist to explore and share the clients inner experience.

Clients often find that SE helps:

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Convulsive movements such as twitches and ticks
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Panic attacks
  • Emotional distress
  • Anger & rage
  • Grief
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

David Cornwell - Certified SE Practioner

David has been working as a yoga and meditation teacher since 2003. Irish born, most of David’s work life has been spent in Istanbul, teaching yoga and meditation from 2003-2015. He created Cihangir Yoga, Turkey’s most respected and successful yoga studio. 

As an undergraduate, David felt compelled to learn and practice Buddhist meditation, beginning an ongoing spiritual journey at the age of 18.

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