This pioneering article differentiates Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing (SE) from other therapeutic approaches that use focused internal awareness. To illustrate how SE works in the brain and physiology, the authors present a composite case study.
Preceding this, however, and oh-so-relevant to understanding theory and practice in this field of study, they define terms -- stress, trauma, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Stress is defined as the inability of the [biological] system to recover functionality. Trauma, when the stress dysregulation occurs over the long-term, resides in the nervous system, not in the event, according to Levine.
Rather than the pathologizing diagnosis of PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, from the DSM [the authority for diagnosing psychiatric disorders], the term preferred by Levine is PTSS, post-traumatic stress syndrome -- viewed as a collection of symptoms occurring on a spectrum.
Imagining these terms on a continuum might be eye-opening enough. But reading the article to the end, you might also find answers to, "What is a Somatic Experiencing session like?" as well as new insight on theory of SE and other bodymind systems.
I've been a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner since 2002, and it's changed -- well, my life. So if you're interested in finding out more on this for yourself, about SE or otherwise, please give me a call and let's begin a conversation.