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An Interview with Peter Levine

Somatic Experiencing Offers Something That Conventional Talk Therapy Doesn't

Peter Levine

By Peter Levine - To many therapists, Somatic Experiencing (SE) still seems bit mysterious, even mystical. Here, SE pioneer Peter Levine describes what a first session looks like and the skills an SE therapist needs to have.

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The Bottom-Up Approach of Somatic Experiencing

A Close-Up Look at Peter Levine's Work with a Trauma Survivor

Lauren Dockett

By Lauren Dockett - Peter Levine is the originator of a form of body psychotherapy called Somatic Experiencing (SE), a captivating but sometimes puzzling approach. Instead of asking questions about events that might elicit pain, Levine focuses on the body, zeroing in meticulously on what’s happening in the moment. Here's how it unfolded with his patient, TJ.

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VIDEO: Peter Levine on the Art of Noticing

See Somatic Experiencing in Motion with This Clip from an Actual Session

Peter Levine

Among the first to fully realize that humans have an innate psychophysiological capacity for overcoming trauma and recovering physical and emotional wholeness, Peter Levine developed Somatic Experiencing, a simple yet profoundly effective mind-body healing technique. In this video clip, he shows how simply noticing a client's body sensations can lead to therapeutic breakthroughs.

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The Five Dimensions of Good Anxiety Treatment

An Interview with Anxiety Researcher David Barlow

Ryan Howes

By Ryan Howes - Most people have plenty of reasons to feel anxious right now. Whether it’s around the uncertain forecast for the field of psychotherapy, or an overall unease with the current state of the world. Author David Barlow is widely considered the dean of anxiety researchers. In the following interview, he shares his thoughts on the nature of anxiety and what research has revealed about the most effective treatments for it.

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Managing Transference and Countertransference in Somatic Therapy

Does Body-Oriented Therapy Increase the Risk of Transference and Countertransference Responses?

Mary Sykes Wylie

Therapeutic skeptics still cite the possibility of stirring up intense transference and countertransference responses as a compelling reason not to use more body-oriented approaches. But therapists who work somatically maintain that transference and countertransference are no more a problem for highly trained and skilled body psychotherapists than for well-trained talk therapists.

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Understanding Somatic Experience: Working With the Body to Heal the Mind

How Can Therapists Overcome Fears About the Body with Clients Who Struggle to Heal from Painful Somatic Experiences?

Mary Sykes Wylie

It’s the very fact that both emotion and reasoning ability are held hostage by their body’s continuing physical reaction to trauma that makes healing so hard for trauma survivors, no matter how much cognitive “insight” they have into their suffering.

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The Mindful Body: Communicating With the Body in Therapy

How a Transition to Mindful Body-Focused Therapy Enriched a Formerly Talk-Only Practice

Mary Sykes Wylie

It’s an article of faith among many somatically-oriented practitioners that the body knows more, knows it more directly, and expresses it more honestly than does the often muddled, deceitful, and fearful mind.

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