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Somatic Experiencing

We know just how difficult it can be to live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may feel like you’re unable to process your trauma or may even be too afraid to face up to your past. Flashbacks, nightmares, and feelings of anxiety can all clog up your mind, making it difficult to take part in day-to-day activities or hobbies you once found enjoyable. With the right treatment and support, however, you can overcome your trauma and lead a fulfilling life. And somatic experiencing is a great place to start.

Helping you process trauma, somatic experiencing is a type of therapy aimed at those who have experienced pent-up trauma and works by releasing it from the body. During sessions, you’ll work with a therapist who will encourage you to look deeply at yourself and your past traumatic experiences, following a SIBAM framework (Sensation, Imagery, Behaviour, Affect, and Meaning). You’ll learn to acknowledge and focus on how your trauma has affected your bodily sensations and your emotions, developing a bank of tools and resources you can dip into when you’re feeling overwhelmed or triggered.

Here at Addcounsel, we take a ‘whole person’ approach to treatment. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for trauma, so we’ll work with you to draft a personalised treatment plan that takes all your unique needs and medical history into consideration. As part of our treatment approach to PTSD, we may advise you to take part in somatic experiencing therapy. We know it may seem scary to open up to a stranger and relive your past, but your therapist will work with you to ensure you develop healthy coping mechanisms when you do encounter triggers.

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How Somatic Experiencing Works

Somatic experiencing therapy is built on the idea that unprocessed trauma gets trapped in the body, leading to emotional dysregulation and the ‘freeze response’. This freeze response is our body’s reaction to danger and if left unaddressed, can lead to physical and cognitive symptoms such as confusion, detachment, and low heart rate. Somatic experiencing is designed to help release all this trauma from the body, helping you process and access traumatic memories through a ‘bottom-up’ approach.

This bottom-up approach focuses on the SIBAM framework, in which a therapist will get you to acknowledge how the trauma feels in your body (Sensation), guide you through scenes (Imagery), analyse your body language (Behaviour), analyse your emotions (Affect), and analyse how you yourself respond to therapy (Meaning).

During sessions, a therapist will work with you and ask questions to better understand your past trauma. A lot of these questions will be targeted around how your body responds to the trauma and will often trigger a state of pendulation (i.e. the process of going back and forth between feelings of calm and feelings of arousal). This may feel uncomfortable, but that’s the whole point of somatic experiencing – to push you out of your comfort zone so you’re able to process your trauma and move past it. Keep in mind that somatic therapy sessions will span over a course of weeks – sometimes months – so you’ll get enough time to build a trusting relationship with your therapist. This will make it easier to open up, express yourself, and unpick your traumas in a safe environment.

How Somatic Experiencing Can Help You

As well as being a completely natural treatment approach, somatic experiencing can also help foster a greater connection between mind and body. By releasing all of your trapped trauma, somatic therapy enables you to let go of negative feelings and emotions and gives you the tools and resources needed to overcome triggering or overwhelming situations. Through techniques such as grounding, body scanning, and visualisation, you can also develop a greater sense of bodily awareness and introspection. Coming face to face with your past traumatic experiences will no longer seem scary or foreign – with somatic experiencing, you’ll eventually be able to look back at your past without fear or judgement.

The great thing about somatic experiencing is that it’s not limited to just treating post-traumatic stress disorder. It can also be used to treat a wide variety of other disorders such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and substance abuse. This is because it doesn’t just focus on unpicking traumas. It also focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviours – helping to regulate the emotional system.

Expert Luxury Healthcare in Central London

Don’t suffer in silence – get the help you need and learn how to process your trauma with Addcounsel today. Our clinic combines state-of-the-art equipment with expert medical staff to deliver a compassionate level of care unlike any other. We’ve worked with a number of high networth individuals, so understand the need for privacy and discretion. We’ll do all we can to make you feel at home and have your stay with us feel as comfortable as possible.

Located in the heart of London, our clinic fuses luxury with world-class treatment and care. No matter your reason for attending Addcounsel, we’ll never judge and make it our priority to deliver the best level of care and service.

Get the help you need and overcome your trauma with Addcounsel. Contact us today at +44 (0)203 709 3968 or email us at enquiries@addcounsel.com for an in-depth look at treatment and what you can expect in the admissions process.

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Whether you’re worried about yourself or a loved one, our team would like to answer any questions you may have about treatment. Call our care team today to find out more about our treatment modalities and have all your questions answered