How does Somatic Experiencing® differ from psychotherapy?
SE® is a ‘bottom up’ approach. We start with the fundamental areas of the brain and body - the survival centres, not the rational, linguistic areas - and work with these. This is where trauma has had its effect and where the body reacts to traumatic events.
As your body becomes more stabilised and your survival centres develop a more healthy ‘normal’ setting, the higher brain centres begin to make meaning of the events. This helps the past be left in the past and a peaceful new presence arise.
Psychotherapy is a ‘top down’ approach in which the therapist asks you to ‘make the unconscious conscious’ in order to make sense of it and to organise or control it. It works primarily with the rational mind.
In psychotherapy, you are asked to talk about your history and the events that happened, and often your childhood and your family. SE® is less interested in your story and more in how it’s living in your body today.