“I wanted a team of excellent professionals collaborating on my daughter’s care and diagnosis. I was not disappointed. The growth she experienced in a few weeks at Bridges changed her life.”

— Mother of Bridges to Recovery Alumna

Somatic Experiencing Therapy (SE)

Somatic Experiencing (SE) can resolve your psychological and physical suffering by freeing you from the destructive energy that is keeping you in the grips of trauma. Through an integrative emotional and bodily practice, you can increase body awareness, gain greater control of emotions and physical reactions, and develop new insights into your traumatic experience and its effects. However, SE is not only used if you have endured trauma. If you suffer from depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, you can also experience emotional stabilization, relief from symptoms, and a renewed understanding of mind-body connection through SE.

A Somatic Theory of Trauma

Somatic Experiencing was designed based on the belief that traumatic events can leave unresolved energy in the body that must be released in order to move on from the trauma. We see evidence of energy release in the natural world–after animals experience trauma, we observe deep breathing, trembling, twitching, and shaking as self-regulating mechanisms to restore balance to the autonomic nervous system. Humans also have these healing capabilities, but severe trauma can interfere with our self-regulating mechanisms. When a person experiences a disturbing event, autonomic nervous system dysregulation can cause the energy to become trapped and keep the body in a state of distress. Dysregulation may happen if a person is prevented from fully expressing their response to suffering and as a result they may experience emotional and physical symptoms that interfere with their functioning.

Toward Release, Self-Regulation, and Renewal

In order to bring the autonomic nervous system back into alignment and relieve emotional and bodily distress, Somatic Experiencing encourages you to release destructive energy and learn new skills to promote self-regulation. You will have an individual session every week with your SE therapist while you are in treatment. Our experienced SE therapists will direct you to become aware of your physical sensations and responses as you discuss feelings, experiences, and memories. The discussion may not even be about the direct source of distress. You report on your bodily responses and the interactions with your emotional state, while your therapist may ask you to engage in physical movements to help release energy, access new emotions, and activate your natural healing abilities. All of this happens within a respectful, safe space that honors your needs, and doesn’t ask for more than you are comfortable with.

Bridges to Recovery integrates Somatic Experiencing therapy into our treatment plans to allow all our clients to experience its benefits. This innovative approach intensifies recovery and can help you fulfill your potential through a stimulating, complete therapeutic process.

For more information about Somatic Experiencing or any of the treatments available at Bridges to Recovery, please contact us.

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