Trauma + Somatic Experiencing®

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Trauma can be devastating... and healing is possible!

Trauma can disrupt your sense of self, sense of safety, and ability to regulate emotions as well as navigate relationships. At SCS, we provide specialized therapy for clients who have experienced trauma. Trauma can be a sensitive and difficult topic and we strive to create a supportive and caring environment where clients feel heard, understood, and empowered. You can expect to work collaboratively with your therapist to develop a personalized plan that fits your specific needs and goals, as well as receive support in utilizing effective strategies for managing symptoms and improving overall well-being.

What is Trauma?

Most of us will experience some form of trauma in our lifetime. Trauma can be described as an experience or situation that causes a person to feel overwhelmed, helpless, or threatened. Traumatic events can be physical, emotional, or psychological in nature. The experience of trauma is subjective, meaning that what is traumatic for one person may not be traumatic for another person.

Trauma can result from a single event or cumulative, long-term exposure. The causes of trauma include a wide range of categories with varying intensities. Some commonly known examples of traumas are sexual or physical assault, war exposure, car accidents, verbal abuse, physical injury, and life-threatening illness. Examples of lesser known or underrecognized traumas are sudden death of a loved one, parents’ divorce, a fall, natural disasters, surgeries or routine medical procedures, witnessing a violent event, as well as ongoing emotional manipulation, neglect, and invalidation. And the list goes on...

What are symptoms of trauma?


  • Avoiding specific locations, sounds, sights, activities, people, and objects that serve as reminders of the event


  • Intrusive thoughts about the event
  • Having nightmares or flashbacks
  • Feeling disconnected from yourself and world around you


  • Anger and irritability
  • Constantly feeling "on alert" and assessing for potential threats
  • Aggressive or reckless behavior
  • Sleep disturbances

Mood and Cognition:

  • Loss of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable
  • Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event
  • Change in habits or behavior since the trauma
  • Persistent and extreme negative beliefs/expectations about yourself, other people, or the world
  • Anxiety, depression, numbness, shame or guilt
Somatic Experiencing®:

Somatic Experiencing® is an approach developed by Peter Levine that aims to help people heal from the effects of trauma. It is based on the idea that trauma is not just a psychological experience, but also a physical one that can get stored in the body's nervous system.

One of the ways this can manifest is through the "fight, flight, or freeze" responses. These responses are an evolutionary survival mechanism that is activated when we perceive a threat or danger. When we are faced with a potentially life-threatening situation, our body responds by either preparing to fight the threat, fleeing from it, or freezing in place. These responses are automatic and help us to survive in dangerous situations. In other words, we don't actively choose them.

In the context of trauma, fight, flight, or freeze responses can become dysregulated or stuck, leading to symptoms such as anxiety, hypervigilance, and physical tension. For example, a person who has experienced a traumatic event may feel constantly on edge and ready to fight or flee, even when there is no real danger present. Alternatively, they may feel "frozen" and unable to move or respond to their environment.

Somatic Experiencing® aims to help people release any trapped energy associated with fight, flight, or freeze responses, and restore balance to their nervous system. This is done by helping someone become more aware of their physical sensations and movements, while guiding them through gentle exercises designed to release tension and restore regulation to their nervous system. By releasing the trapped energy associated with fight, flight, or freeze responses, people can move toward healing and regain a sense of safety and control in their lives.

We offer this approach for clients who have experienced traumatic events or are struggling with symptoms of trauma. It is our belief that healing is possible for anyone who has experienced trauma, and we are here to support you in your journey towards wellness and resilience.