Somatic Experiencing (SE)

Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a naturalistic approach to the understanding and healing of trauma developed by Peter A. Levine over the past 40 years and taught throughout the world. SE is a clinical methodology based upon an appreciation of why animals in the wild are not traumatized by routine threats to their lives while humans, on the other hand, are readily overwhelmed and traumatized. Fortunately, the very same instincts (and related survival based brain systems) that are involved in the formation of trauma symptoms can be enlisted in the transformation and healing of trauma. Therapeutically, this “instinct to heal” and self-regulate is engaged through the awareness of body sensations that contradict those of paralysis and helplessness, and which restore resilience, equilibrium and wholeness. Because human responses to potential threat vary so greatly, it is difficult to identify or classify sources of trauma. Most people associate trauma with events like war, violence, extremes of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, crippling accidents, or natural disasters. However, many ''ordinary'' or seemingly benign events can also be traumatic. For example, so-called minor automobile “whiplash'' accidents frequently lead to bewildering and debilitating physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms. Common invasive medical procedures and surgeries (particularly those performed on frightened children who are restrained while being anesthetized), can be profoundly traumatizing. Somatic Experiencing utilizes basic tools (and “building blocks”) but also works differentially with various sources of trauma.

These diverse categories include:
• Medical: Hospitalizations, surgeries, invasive medical procedures, anaesthesia, burns, poisoning, fetal distress and traumatic birth.
• Accidents: Falls, high impact accidents (including auto accidents), head injury, electrocution.
• Suffocation: Drowning, strangulation.
• Attack: Rape, war, bombings, physical abuse, mugging, molestation, physical injury, stabbing, gunshot wounds, animal attacks.
• Natural and man-made disasters: Earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, floods, terrorism, dislocation from the natural world and community.
• Horror: Seeing an accident (especially with blood, gore and dismemberment), watching someone else being abused, raped, killed or tortured, killing or hurting someone.
• Developmental: Neglect, abandonment, loss and ongoing abuse.
• Torture, repeated rape and systematic abuse

SE Training in South Africa

The SE training consists of 3 levels namely Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. The duration of the training is 12 days per level.

The first SE group in South Africa completed the advanced training in 2015. The current SE group will be completing the advanced training in May and August 2017. 

Eligibility for Attendance

The training is open to professionals, registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), such as Clinical, Educational and Counselling Psychologists; Intern Psychology students (Clinical, Educational and Counselling) enroled in an accredited Masters programme; Medical Doctors, including Intern Medical Doctors; Dentists; Psychiatrists; Occupational Therapists; Physiotherapists and Speech Therapists. Social workers registered with the South African Council for Social Work Professions (SACSSP) can also attend on condition that attendance of the training is approved by the SACSSP.

Please send an email to info@meisa.co.za if you are interested in attending the next round of SE training which are planned to start in 2018.  

Disclaimer

Attendance of the SE and SOMA training is not a license to practise psychotherapy or body work in South Africa. Such licensing is only permitted by the respective boards of the Health Professions Council of South Africa. Professionals are required to operate within the constraints and requirements of their professional boards and the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

Please note that the attainment of continuing education units (CEU's) does not license any professional to practice outside their official scope of practice, nor does it allow you to execute any psychological act or do psychotherapy should you not be qualified or accredited by your respective professional board to do so.

CEUs are intended to broaden the knowledge of professionals but do not constitute professional training.