What does an SE® session look like with a body-worker opposed to a mental health practitioner?


            A very important and sincere thing to ask is this, do you, the reader, know what Somatic Experiencing® is?  What is your exposure to this therapy; a website… books… articles… videos… personal experience or nothing at all?  There are decades of ingrained perceptions of what therapy should  look like and with Somatic Experiencing® there are some parallels one can superficially identify with when associating to traditional psychotherapy.  Initially sessions will start off in a seated position so I can learn more about you. “What are you hoping to achieve, how fresh or old are your issues and what circumstances are you dealing with and how would you like “it” to change?”  Each therapist has their own way of incorporating SE (either partially or purely) and since I can only speak for myself, I can only share what I can foreseeably predict in our potential SE sessions together.



      Information changes situations and this will go beyond “client education” for doing SE.  To clarify, I like to start our sessions with priming skills that are straight forward, intended to habituate innate abilities that are constructed into 7 parts.  The exercises will offer opportunities to help us assess where you are operating at presently, as well as where your nervous system may become “caught” during the arch of our natural stress response. With permission, I will help mitigate difficult areas with intentions to foster what is essential in the renegotiation of incomplete primal responses of the body and it’s holding patterns. These 7 parts can be completed in just one session and you may very well not need to follow the 7-part protocol. But the efficacy of working on what brings you here in the first place may, more times than not, lead to miss attunements and reinforcing of the very patterns that perpetuate one’s current state if not made aware of the slight nuances that are hidden from the untrained eye.



      I am not saying that valuable revelations and outcomes do not come from “unprepared” sessions.  To be transparent, for the longest time my impulse patterns of operating were aimed at having these HUGE experiences preceded by me picking up the pieces of the “explosion” with deep and difficult introspection. For me that was normal, and I thrived on those momentous energy wells of discomfort because it was familiar and only there, I felt my growth was possible. So please believe me when I say I understand those who want to go quickly, fast and GUNG-HO into this work and maybe that is the best thing for you, at this point.



      So back to the original question, “what does an SE session look like with a trained body-worker?”  There may be instances where standing is best, being closer to the ground or walking around would be preferred.  Several exercises can take form as boundary work, eye movement practices (not quite like EMDR) and as one could assume; touch-work.  Touch can occur either on or off a massage table, without fast-moving hands, but within a predictable consented context.  Again, all this is done with invitation and is a voluntary choice by both parties.



     I do hope this has given some clarity and thank you for sticking it here with me as I try to articulate in the most generalized way I can on this topic.  If your curiosity has been peaked and you wish to ask some more questions; PLEASE… Feel free to send them here. I will be setting aside a few days a month dedicated to a handful of 15-minute consultations for those wish to take advantage of this complimentary service. So do keep an eye out if this is something that you would like to utilize.



Holly Dahl