Biofeedback Counseling Center
Enhancing the Healer Within
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Trauma Healing Institute

Somatic Experiencing Trauma Therapy

Enhancing the Healer Within

The seeds of trauma begin with a Boundary Breach, in which something happens to us, too much and too fast.  This could be a fall, a motor vehicle accident, or any other event.  When this happens, the body may not have time to recognize the danger and mobilize a defensive response (often called Fight or Flight response).  When defensive responses are not possible (such as an explosion in combat) and the person cannot complete the defensive response that nature intended, the body will often naturally shake, cry, sweat, release heat or other forms of discharge.  Trauma symptoms can occur if there is not a discharge or if there was not enough time to startle, orient to danger or mobilize a defensive response.

 Dr. Peter Levine, has a PhD in Psychology and a second PhD in Medical Biophysics.  By observing animals in the wild, he found a way to help the body restore its natural flow and wellness.  This way of releasing trauma is called Somatic Experiencing Trauma Therapy.  Through this therapy many children and adults have been able to resolve or reduce the troublesome symptoms that they were experiencing.  Another useful tool for healing trauma is EMDR therapy.  Developed by Francine Shapiro, PhD, this therapy has been effective for many people in healing trauma and difficult memories. Our center offers both of these treatment options.

Panic Attacks  Somatic Experiencing in combination with Biofeedback is a process that can be especially helpful to persons with panic attacks. Somatic Experiencing can help with the regulation of high activation associated with panic attacks.  Biofeedback can teach the client how to regulate the end-tidal carbon dioxide level.  Low carbon dioxide, called hypocapnia, can cause the body to respond as if it is starving of oxygen.  By learning to regulate the carbon dioxide level in the blood, the body will calm itself as breathing and heart rate return to normal. Helping clients reduce panic attacks is one area of expertise of the Biofeedback Counseling Center.

Nightmares Following a trauma, many people begin having nightmares which may be one way the body attempts to move toward healing.  Although we cannot guarantee the same outcomes for everyone, we find that SE therapy can often help this process.  Helping clients resolve nightmares and restore peaceful sleep is one area of expertise of the Biofeedback Counseling Center.

Symptoms  Scientists have found that many symptoms mistakenly attributed to various causes are actually ways that the body has responded to unresolved trauma (such as a motor vehicle accident, surgical procedure and others).  Often these symptoms do not appear for days or even months after the traumatic occurrence, so the patient does not make the connection between the event and the symptoms.  By treating the root cause, the trauma, these symptoms can often be eliminated or reduced. Symptoms can include spaciness, numbing, fatigue, nightmares, jerking muscles, sleep disturbance, easily startled, nervousness, irritability and anger, pain, phobias, fears and others.