Somatic Experiencing

»Nichts kann existieren ohne Ordnung. Nichts kann entstehen ohne Chaos.«

(Albert Einstein)

Die innere Erfahrung von Chaos ist menschlich. Ungelöste traumatische Erfahrungen beeinflussen die Art wie wir fühlen, spüren, denken und handeln. Sie belasten unsere Beziehung zu uns selbst, zu Anderen, zur Arbeit, zur Welt.
Chronische körperliche Beschwerden, emotionale Unausgeglichenheit, negative Gedankenspiralen binden Aufmerksamkeit und verengen den Blickwinkel auf das Hier und Jetzt.
Die körperorientierte Somatic Experiencing© Arbeit ermöglicht es, persönliche und transgenerationale Schockmomente mit bestehenden Symptomen rückzuverbinden und im wertschätzenden empathischen Miteinander neu zu verhandeln.

 

Trauma is not what happens to us, but what we hold inside in the absence of an empathetic witness. (Peter A. Levine, founder of Somatic experiencing)

Trauma is hell on earth. Trauma resolved is a gift from the gods. (Peter A. Levine)

 

I have come to the conclusion that human beings are born with an innate capacity to triumph over trauma. I believe not only that trauma is curable, but that the healing process can be a catalyst for profound awakening—a portal opening to emotional and genuine spiritual transformation. I have little doubt that as individuals, families, communities, and even nations, we have the capacity to learn how to heal and prevent much of the damage done by trauma. In so doing, we will significantly increase our ability to achieve both our individual and collective dreams.
(Peter A. Levine, Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body)

 

Resilient strength is the opposite of helplessness. The tree is made strong and resilient by its grounded root system. These roots take nourishment from the ground and grow strong. Grounding also allows the tree to be resilient so that it can yield to the winds of change and not be uprooted. Springiness is the facility to ground and ‘unground’ in a rhythmical way. This buoyancy is a dynamic form of grounding. Aggressiveness is the biological ability to be vigorous and energetic, especially when using instinct and force. In the immobility (traumatized) state, these assertive energies are inaccessible. The restoration of healthy aggression is an essential part in the recovery from trauma. Empowerment is the acceptance of personal authority. It derives from the capacity to choose the direction and execution of one’s own energies. Mastery is the possession of skillful techniques in dealing successfully with threat. Orientation is the process of ascertaining one’s position relative to both circumstance and environment. In these ways the residue of trauma is renegotiated.
(Peter A. Levine, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences)

 

The symptoms of trauma can be stable, that is, ever-present. They can also be unstable, meaning that they can come and go and be triggered by stress. Or they can remain hidden for decades and suddenly surface. Usually, symptoms do not occur individually, but come in groups. They often grow increasingly complex over time, becoming less and less connected with the original trauma experience.
(Peter A. Levine, Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body)

 

We may deny that an event occurred, or we may act as though it was unimportant. For instance, when someone we love dies, or when we are injured or violated, we may act as though nothing has happened, because the emotions that come with truly acknowledging the situation are too painful. In addition, dissociation may be experienced as part of the body being disconnected or almost absent. Frequently, chronic pain represents a part of the body that has been dissociated.
(Peter A. Levine, Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body)

 

When we fight against and/or hide from unpleasant or painful sensations and feelings, we generally make things worse. The more we avoid them, the greater is the power they exert upon our behavior and sense of well-being. What is not felt remains the same or is intensified, generating a cascade of virulent and corrosive emotions. This forces us to fortify our methods of defense, avoidance and control. This is the vicious cycle created by trauma.
(Peter A. Levine, In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness)

 

There’s one more symptom we need to look at before looking at how trauma actually gets into the body and mind and causes long-term problems. This one is a little less straightforward than the others. Here’s one of the more unusual and problem-creating symptoms that can develop from unresolved trauma: the compulsion to repeat the actions that caused the problem in the first place. We are inextricably drawn into situations that replicate the original trauma in both obvious and less obvious ways.
(Peter A. Levine, Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body)

 

Re-enactments may be played out in intimate relationships, work situations, repetitive accidents or mishaps, and in other seemingly random events. They may also appear in the form of bodily symptoms or psychosomatic diseases. Children who have had a traumatic experience will often repeatedly recreate it in their play. As adults, we are often compelled to re-enact our early traumas in our daily lives. The mechanism is similar regardless of the individual’s age.
(Peter A. Levine, Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body)

 

Highly traumatized and chronically neglected or abused individuals are dominated by the immobilization/shutdown system. On the other hand, acutely traumatized people (often by a single recent event and without a history of repeated trauma, neglect or abuse) are generally dominated by the sympathetic fight/flight system. They tend to suffer from flashbacks and racing hearts, while the chronically traumatized individuals generally show no change or even a decrease in heart rate. These sufferers tend to be plagued with dissociative symptoms, including frequent spacyness, unreality, depersonalization, and various somatic and health complaints. Somatic symptoms include gastrointestinal problems, migraines, some forms of asthma, persistent pain, chronic fatigue, and general disengagement from life.
(Peter A. Levine, In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness)

 

How trauma symptoms behave…• Panic attacks, anxiety, and phobias • Mental “blankness” or spaced-out feelings • Avoidance behavior (avoiding places, activities, movements, memories, or people) • Attraction to dangerous situations • Addictive behaviors (overeating, drinking, smoking, etc.) • Exaggerated or diminished sexual activity • Amnesia and forgetfulness • Inability to love, nurture, or bond with other individuals • Fear of dying or having a shortened life • Self-mutilation (severe abuse, self-inflicted cutting, etc.) • Loss of sustaining beliefs (spiritual, religious, interpersonal).
(Peter A. Levine, Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body)