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Somatic Experiencing Sessions

My Qualifications:

Gemma Mallol is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner SEP.
I have completed the beginners, intermediate and advanced training (5 years).
I have completed a Post Graduate Somatic Experiencing Module on Developmental Trauma with Dr Peter Levine (Switzerland, July 2015).

 

Sessions:

I give Somatic Experiencing sessions from home in Totnes or via Skype which are equally effective.
If you require more info please don’t hesitate to email or call
stillflowing@hotmail.co.uk / 00 44 (0)7745300237

 

Pricing:

One-off session £60
2 – 4 sessions £55 / session
5 sessions or more £50 / session

Duration:

Each session will be approx 1 hour 15  mins, unless agreed otherwise.

Cancellation:

If a clear 48 hours notice is given, and the session is rescheduled within an appropriate time span, there will be no cancellation fee.
Otherwise, a 50% cancellation fee for less than 48 hours notice and a 100% cancellation fee for less than 24 hours notice will be charged.

 

Areas of Special Interest:

Young Women (age 20- 45) – sexual/physical abuse, rape, relationship trauma, anxiety, depression, burn out syndrome, panic attacks, insomnia, addictions.
Children – ADHD, irrational fears, phobias, dissociation, hyperactivity, poor concentration, general stress, sleep difficulties/insomnia

 

What is Somatic Experiencing?

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“Somatic Experiencing®” (SE) is a short-term naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing of trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine.

It is based upon the observation that wild prey animals, though threatened routinely, are rarely traumatized. Animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated with defensive survival behaviours. These mechanisms provide animals with a built-in ”immunity” to trauma that enables them to return to normal in the aftermath of highly ”charged” life-threatening experiences.

Although humans are born with virtually the same regulatory mechanisms as animals, the function of these instinctive systems is often overridden or inhibited by, among other things, the ”rational” portion of our brains. This restraint prevents the complete discharge of survival energies, and does not allow the nervous system to regain its equilibrium. The un-discharged “survival energy” remains “stuck” in the body and the nervous system.

The various symptoms of trauma result from the body’s attempt to ”manage” and contain this unused energy.

SE employs the awareness of body sensation to help people ”renegotiate” and heal their traumas rather than relive them. With appropriate guidance with the body’s instinctive ”felt sense,” individuals are able to access their own built-in immunity to trauma, allowing the highly aroused survival energies to be safely and gradually discharged.

When these energies are discharged, people frequently experience a dramatic reduction in or disappearance of their traumatic symptoms. Because traumatic events often involve encounters with death, they evoke extraordinary responses.

The transformation process can allow people to deepen their sense of self and others. The healing journey can be an ”awakening” to untapped resources and feelings of empowerment. With the help of these new allies, people can open portals to rebirth and achieve an increased sense of aliveness and flow. The experience can be a genuine spiritual awakening, one that allows people to re-connect with the world.

The very structure of trauma, including hyper-arousal, dissociation. and freezing, is based on the evolution of the predator/prey survival behaviors. The symptoms of trauma are the result of a highly activated incomplete biological response to threat, frozen in time. By enabling this frozen response to thaw, then complete, trauma can be healed.

Traumatic symptoms are not caused by the dangerous event itself. They arise when residual energy from the event is not discharged from the body. This energy remains trapped in the nervous system where it can wreak havoc on our bodies and minds. Wild animals have the ability to “shake off” this excess energy. The key for humans in dispelling traumatic symptoms lies in our being able to mirror wild animals in this way. Dr. Peter Levine has developed a safe, gradual way to help trauma survivors develop their own natural ability to resolve the excess energy caused by overwhelming events”. (Excerpt from www.sosinternationale.org)

Trauma underlies the vast majority of our personal and societal ailments : physical, emotional, psychological and relational. Unresolved trauma can be at the root cause of intense personal distress, abuse, torture, and war.

This approach can work with many issues/afflictions/disorders that are so prevalent and familiar  in our modern society eg, Anxiety, Depression, Bi-Polar, Eating Disorders, OCD, ADHD, PTSD, Addictions,  Insomnia,  Migraines, Fibromyalgia, Allergies, Asthma, Obesity, Destructive Behavioural Patterns, Stuck Relationship Patterns, Body Dysmorphia, Chronic Aches and Pains, Panic Attacks, IBS (Digestive Problems), Nightmares, Phobias, and Breathing Disorders, to name but some. As many as 75% of the people who go to doctors have complaints that are labelled psychosomatic because no physical explanation can be found for them.

Dr Peter Levine’s work has led him to believe that many of these people have traumatic histories which at least contribute to their symptoms. Depression and anxiety often have traumatic antecedents as does mental illness.

 

Shamanic Roots of Somatic Experiencing Therapy

“Throughout recorded and oral history, it has been the task of the shaman, or tribal healer, to help restore balance and health in individuals and communities where it has been disrupted. In contrast to Western Medicine, which has taken its time in recognizing the debilitating impacts of trauma, shamanistic cultures have acknowledged such wounds for a very long time. Shamanistic cultures view illness and trauma as a problem for the entire community, not just for the individual or individuals who manifest symptoms. Consequently, people in these societies seek healing as much for the whole as for themselves. This approach has special applications in the transformation of trauma in our society today. While this endorsement is not intended to suggest that we all seek shamanistic aid in healing trauma, we can gain valuable insight by studying how shamans address traumatic reactions. The methods used over the ages by medicine men and women are varied and complex. However, these diverse rituals and beliefs share a common understanding of trauma. When people are overwhelmed, their “souls” become separated from their bodies. According to Mircea Eliade (an important scholar of shamanistic practice), “rape of the soul” is by far the most widespread and damaging cause of illness cited by shamanic healers. Missing important parts of their souls, people become lost in states of spiritual suspension. From the shamanistic point of view, illness is a result of being stuck in “spiritual limbo”. Since pre-civilization, shamanistic healers from many cultures have been able to successfully orchestrate conditions that encourage the “lost soul”  to return to the rightful place  in the body. Through colourful rituals, these so-called “primitive” healers catalyze powerful innate healing forces in their patients. An atmosphere of community support enhanced by drumming, chanting, dancing and trancing creates the environment in which this healing takes place. Often the proceedings continue for days and may involve the use of plant substances and other pharmacological catalysts. Significantly while these ceremonies themselves vary,  the beneficiary of the healing almost always shakes and trembles as the event nears its conclusion. This is the same phenomenon that occurs in animals when they release bound-up energy.”… “Physicians and mental health workers today don’t speak of retrieving souls, but they are faced with a similar task- restoring wholeness to an organism that has been fragmented by trauma. Shamanistic concepts and procedures treat trauma by uniting lost soul and body in the presence of community. This approach is alien to the technological mind. However, these procedures do seem to succeed where conventional Western approaches fail. My conclusion is that significant aspects of shamanic practice are valid. When it comes to trauma, we have much to learn from the ways these traditional people practice their medicine. After 1994 Los Angeles earthquake, it was those families (often from Third World countries) who camped, ate, and played together that fared better than many middle class families. Those that remain isolated – obsessively watching replays of the disaster, listening to interviews with geologists claiming “the big one is yet to come” – were much more susceptible to traumatic effects than those who supported each other in community.”

(Excerpt from WAKING THE TIGER – Dr Peter Levine)

I have found the synthesis of Yoga, Mindfulness and Somatic Experience to be the resolution to much of the suffering that I have experienced so far, they work beautifully together, they are highly complementary and seem to form a coherent system for deep healing, cultivating ongoing awareness and establishing self regulation, coherency and empowerment.  I hope I can help others address the more difficult, traumatic, stuck and challenging areas of their lives, with these tools that I have learnt along the way.