Sierra Tucson offers the “Somatic Experiencing® Therapy” treatment modality, a short-term naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing of trauma. Peter A. Levine, Ph.D., founder of the Somatic Experiencing® Therapy Trauma Institute, developed this approach based on the observation that animals in the wild are rarely traumatized, though their lives are threatened routinely.
Restoring Healthy Brain Functions
The broad scope of traumatic life events can include accidents, abuse, birth trauma, illness, medical trauma, natural disasters, and violence. Somatic Experiencing® Therapy addresses how the human triune brain (made up of the neocortex, limbic system, and primitive brain) functions in a complex, highly interconnected network to handle the experience of traumatic events.
Through research of a functional trauma response in the nervous system compared with a dysfunctional trauma response and the psychobiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the components of Somatic Experiencing® Therapy treatment were formed. This therapy allows individuals to reinstate at a nervous system and muscular level the instinctual defensive and orientating responses lost or truncated through trauma.
The Foundation for Human Enrichment explains, “The Somatic Experiencing® Therapy approach facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to restore internal equilibrium by developing increased tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotions.”
Dr. Peter A. Levine, the founder of the Somatic Experiencing® Therapy method, has described the benefits of this approach in the following terms:
“By gently awakening this innate capacity for resilience that we share with all living organisms, the straitjacket is loosened. As we are unbound from the past, a future abundant with new possibilities unfolds. Our ability to be in the present expands, revealing the timeless essence of the ‘now.’ Trauma can be hell on earth; transformed, it is a divine gift.”
A Sense of Peace
Although trauma is a reality in life, our sense of peace and well-being can be restored. The Somatic Experiencing® Therapy is one type of trauma therapy that can help people find a state of rest. The Somatic Experiencing® Therapy treatment is ordered for the resident when clinically appropriate.