SOMATIC EXPERIENCING attempts to promote awareness and release physical tension that remains in the aftermath of trauma. It is a form of therapy aimed at relieving the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental and physical trauma-related health problems by focusing on the client's perceived body sensations (or somatic experiences).
Sessions are normally done in person and involve a client tracking his or her own experience. Practitioners are usually psychotherapists, but may also be nurses, physicians, or members of other therapeutic professions. Certified practitioners complete a three-year training course.
Somatic Experiencing is used for both shock trauma and developmental trauma. Shock trauma is loosely defined as a single-episode traumatic event such as a car accident, natural disaster such as an earthquake, battlefield incident, physical attack, etc. Developmental trauma refers to various kinds of psychological damage that occur during child development when a child has insufficient or detrimental attention from the primary caregivers.