Trauma can come in many different forms. From the death or abandonment of a loved one to a relationship breakdown, sexual, physical or emotional abuse to experiencing an illness, accident, bullying, humiliation or deep disappointment.
It can also affect you in many different ways. Over time, you may experience any or all of the following symptoms:
- Social anxiety & insecurity
- Shock, denial, or disbelief
- Anger, irritability, mood swings
- Guilt, shame, self-blame
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Panic attacks
- Low self-esteem
- Difficulties in functioning at home or work
- Prolonged grieving
- Using drugs or booze to feel better
- Confusion, difficulty concentrating
- Withdrawing from others
- Being emotionally numb
- Having a pessimistic view of self and the world
- Difficulty trusting
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Edginess and agitation
- Racing heartbeat
- Aches and pains
What happens when you experience trauma
When the body experiences trauma, adrenaline is released to provide you with the energy for a fight, flight or freeze response. After the trauma is over, your frontal brain overrides the hindbrain and demands that the body stop trembling and shaking. But your body still has to do something to contain the excess adrenaline energy, so it ‘freezes’ it into your body tissues with chemical bonds to hold it still.
This frozen energy remains in the tissues and the nervous system until it can be released, which sadly for some people never happens. As you can imagine, this trauma energy can create a multitude of symptoms and behaviours like the ones you may be experiencing above.
Why Somatic Experiencing®?
Somatic Experiencing® is a body-awareness approach to healing trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine based on the realisation that human beings have an innate ability to overcome the effects of trauma.
Encouraging working in a balanced and gentle way with sensations, images, emotions, cognitions and incomplete body movements, Somatic Experiencing® allows pent-up energy to safely and gradually release.
This release helps build new positive neural pathways in the brain, which eliminates trauma symptoms, enables lasting change and allows you to move forward with your life.
Living a life beyond trauma
While it is important to remember that recovering from a trauma takes time, Somatic Experiencing® has helped thousands of people around the world live their life beyond trauma.