Josie* had been in recovery for many years and thought she was doing pretty well. When she started dating seriously, she suddenly found herself grappling with intense anxiety, seemingly out of nowhere. Her years of clean and sober living and solid foundations in recovery weren’t helping and she couldn’t seem to shake the uneasy feeling, even when nothing was “wrong.” Eventually, she sought out the help of a trained therapist, who suggested she try Somatic Experiencing.® Josie had never heard of it and was skeptical, but the therapist was highly recommended so she gave it a try.
She discovered that despite the years spent living right and rebuilding her life, she still had some deep-seated trauma that needed addressing. Although it hadn’t been triggered earlier, by that point, there was no denying it was problematic and that getting help was the right decision. Her Somatic Experiencing® therapist guided her as she learned to locate the distressed feeling in her body and eventually uproot it. She discovered a new level of mind-body connection and a deeper sense of wellness than she had ever experienced.
Somatic Experiencing,® also known as SE, is a form of therapy that seeks to relieve the symptoms of trauma and other stress disorders through a body-oriented approach. This modality seeks to re-set the nervous system and address traumatic shock, essential to recovering from previous trauma.
Somatic Experiencing® helps people restore their mind-body connection to deal with the problematic and often physical after-effects of trauma. Clients are urged to explore the physical sensations that accompany their emotions and uncover the habitual behaviors developed in response to these feelings. Somatic Experiencing® holds that the negative event isn’t what caused the trauma, but rather the nervous system’s overwhelmed response to the perceived threat that is causing the distress and imbalance. Thus, SE works to discharge the physical memory of the event in order to reset the nervous system
We asked Chelsea Valerie, LMSW, one of Scottsdale Providence’s Somatic Experiencing® therapists, why she is so passionate about SE:
“My passion for Somatic Experiencing® started with my personal experience. I first tried it around eight years ago. I was one of those clients who didn’t really know my legs were connected to my torso [laughing]. I know that seems really crazy to the normal population, but I was pretty traumatized and I didn’t have a mind-body connection at all. I had very powerful experiences with my SE therapist. It really guided me and allowed me to access parts of myself I had shut off for so long.”
Curious about if Somatic Experiencing® is right for you? Reach out today! Our goal is for every client to experience a profound change through cutting-edge, evidence-based practices provided by an experienced, compassionate team, in a safe, luxurious Scottsdale environment. We know that true change is possible and sustainable.
*All names have been changed to protect privacy