SOMATIC EXPERIENCING

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Somatic Experiencing® Therapy by Cicily Thomas

Modern medicine treats trauma as a disorder of the mind, underestimating the connection between mind and body. A traumatic event can result in a build-up of uncomfortable energy in the body, which leaves the individual overwhelmed and unable to function in the real world. Therefore, trauma cannot be fully healed unless the role of the body is also acknowledged in the healing process. 

Pioneered by Dr. Peter A. Levine (USA), Somatic Experiencing® (SE) takes an organic approach to trauma and stress disorders by addressing their root causes and resolving the fixated physiological state caused by blocked energy arising out of the trauma.

As a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner certified by the US-based Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute (SETI), Cicily Thomas integrates her Somatic Experiencing® training with her certified Tai Chi and Qigong expertise, using slow, gentle and fluid movements to liberate the trapped energy caused by trauma and enable free flow of Qi. 

In a Somatic Experiencing® intervention, this holistic therapy assists the individual consciously attend to these uncomfortable sensations, thereby reducing stress, increasing regulation and resilience, helping them regain control of mind, body and spirit, and returning them to a state of wellness and wellbeing.

Here’s What Our Clients Have to Say About Us:

I had come with a heavy feeling to meet Ms.Cicily. She has taken me step by step with past experiences and allowing to let go of things. It was a real well balanced experience for my temperament. How to forgive others and forgive oneself is an awesome method to lead our life. Once all these different factors go away, I remained calm and then the physical discomforts were given preference and were touched with a kind of spiritual healing power when one requires it. I could face my surgical procedure boldly. 
Thank you very much Ms. Cicily
Bhavani

My experience was wonderful with Cicily and it really helped me to realize so much in my life. I don’t have words to appeciate how grrateful I feel. Thanks a lot.

Ratan Chawla

FAQs

What is trauma? What are its long-term effects?

Trauma is a familiar term with unfamiliar consequences. Trauma can arise in an individual from a single life-threatening experience or a series of distressing events ranging from accidents, physical assaults, emotional abuse, domestic violence and personal loss to natural disasters, social conflicts and war. 

Different people react differently to a traumatic event – factors such as their psychological condition at the time of the incident, lack of resilience, and physical environment among others can seriously impair their ability to cope with the incident, which manifests in a chronic feeling of disconnect, dissociation and dysregulation, creating an overwhelming sensation of being stuck and unable to release themselves from a fixated physiological state of helplessness. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD has potentially life-altering implications for the individual, leading to isolation, insecurities and inability to form healthy relationships.

What is Somatic Experiencing®?

Somatic Experiencing® represents Dr. Peter Levine’s pioneering ‘body-first’ approach to trauma therapy. Based on his life’s work in the field of stress and trauma, Somatic Experiencing® provides practitioners the framework to bring about a positive transformation in the individual by healing trauma through informed guidance and support. 

The Somatic Experiencing® approach came from Dr. Levine’s analysis of animal behavior in the face of threat to their lives. Though constantly under threat in the wilds, animals of prey rarely display symptoms of trauma; instead they choose one of three defensive survival responses – fight, flight or freeze – to any perceived threat. The third response when the animal goes into a state of freezing or immobility is what potentially leads to trauma; while animals are naturally able to discharge and dissipate the massive amounts of survival energy created in the body for fight or flight, rendering them immune to trauma in the aftermath, humans due to their conditioning and rational thinking are unable to complete this time-sensitive reaction. 

Consequently, the energy remains trapped in their body, interrupting the restorative process and prolonging the sensation of threat, thereby, leaving the individual in a fixated physiological state and unable to return to their comfort zone after the life-threatening experience. Somatic Experiencing® takes a phased approach to completing this immobility response by releasing the stored survival energy through gentle guidance, leading to trauma resolution. 

In his seminal book, Waking the Tiger – Healing Trauma, Dr. Levine writes, “…the same immense energies that create the symptoms of trauma, when properly engaged and mobilized, can transform the trauma and propel us into new heights of healing, mastery, and even wisdom.”

How is trauma addressed in a Somatic Experiencing® session?

Instead of cathartic reliving of the traumatic experience, which can be distressing, Somatic Experiencing® seeks to access the body memory of the traumatic event by making the individual become more aware of the body sensations lying underneath their feelings, and progressively increasing their tolerance towards these uncomfortable sensations. This is based on the premise that trauma symptoms are caused by the individual’s response to the perceived life-threat rather than the event itself. Through increased awareness of the problematic physical sensations and by uncovering their behavioral response to the feelings underneath, an individual is able to renegotiate and heal naturally. 

The concept of titration – of releasing energy in small, incremental steps – is employed wherein the individual is allowed to sense their way through normal oscillations of opposing sensations such as contraction and expansion, pleasure and pain, or warmth and cold. This rhythmic process helps the individual develop greater capacity to handle stress while remaining in the present, enabling them to safely experience the difficult body sensations and gradually discharge the trapped energy as they move towards trauma resolution.

What is the methodology behind Somatic Experiencing?

Instead of cathartic reliving of the traumatic experience, which can be distressing, Somatic Experiencing® seeks to access the body memory of the traumatic event by making the individual become more aware of the body sensations lying underneath their feelings, and progressively increasing their tolerance towards these uncomfortable sensations. This is based on the premise that trauma symptoms are caused by the individual’s response to the perceived life-threat rather than the event itself. Through increased awareness of the problematic physical sensations and by uncovering their behavioral response to the feelings underneath, an individual is able to renegotiate and heal naturally. 

The concept of titration – of releasing energy in small, incremental steps – is employed wherein the individual is allowed to sense their way through normal oscillations of opposing sensations such as contraction and expansion, pleasure and pain, or warmth and cold. This rhythmic process helps the individual develop greater capacity to handle stress while remaining in the present, enabling them to safely experience the difficult body sensations and gradually discharge the trapped energy as they move towards trauma resolution.

Who conducts the session?

The sessions are conducted by Cicily Thomas, a trained Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner certified by the US-based Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute (SETI). Cicily is also a certified Taiji Quan and Qigong Master, trained in China by Grand Master Fu Sheng Yuan and Master Fu Qing Quan.

In her regular group sessions, Cicily combines her Tai Chi and Qigong expertise with Somatic Experiencing® tools to help participants get in touch with their body and body sensations, thereby, balancing body, mind and spirit. 

A Somatic Experiencing® session, which is conducted one-on-one, may or may not include Tai Chi and Qigong movements. Integrating these techniques in a Somatic Experiencing® session will depend on the individual’s level of comfort. 

During the healing session, the individual will be at liberty to share their impression of the physical sensations they feel in their body, and not necessarily the actual trauma event (unless they wish to). These sessions will help them track these sensations with their awareness, reorganize body memory, and arrive at a place of rebalance and resolution.

What is the methodology behind Somatic Experiencing?

Instead of cathartic reliving of the traumatic experience, which can be distressing, Somatic Experiencing® seeks to access the body memory of the traumatic event by making the individual become more aware of the body sensations lying underneath their feelings, and progressively increasing their tolerance towards these uncomfortable sensations. This is based on the premise that trauma symptoms are caused by the individual’s response to the perceived life-threat rather than the event itself. Through increased awareness of the problematic physical sensations and by uncovering their behavioral response to the feelings underneath, an individual is able to renegotiate and heal naturally. 

The concept of titration – of releasing energy in small, incremental steps – is employed wherein the individual is allowed to sense their way through normal oscillations of opposing sensations such as contraction and expansion, pleasure and pain, or warmth and cold. This rhythmic process helps the individual develop greater capacity to handle stress while remaining in the present, enabling them to safely experience the difficult body sensations and gradually discharge the trapped energy as they move towards trauma resolution.

What is the duration of a Somatic Experiencing® session?

The duration of each Somatic Experiencing® session is 50 minutes. 

What is the cost for each session?

Each 50-minute session will cost INR 2200.

Are there a minimum number of sessions required to be taken?

No, there isn’t. While Somatic Experiencing® therapy for trauma resolution is carried out over several sessions, it can be terminated at any time. A closure session is, however, recommended in the event of early termination.

Note: Please Read the Consent Form before booking an Appointment

Consent for Somatic Experiencing® therapy

  1. I invite you to my Somatic Experiencing® and Qigong healing practice. I am a certified Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner certified by the US-based Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute (SETI). I am also a certified Tai Chi and Qigong Master and will be integrating Tai Chi and Qigong techniques with Somatic Experiencing® therapy in my trauma healing sessions. I do not diagnose, prescribe, or treat any physical or mental ailments. 
  2. A Somatic Experiencing® session may provide you relief from your traumatic stress symptoms, increase your resilience and ability to self-regulate, and improve your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual condition. However, similar to any stress reduction treatment, there are no guarantees that you will achieve your goals, though many people have acknowledged the positive changes this therapy has enabled in their lives. 
  3. Somatic Experiencing® may result in unintended negative side effects, such as sleep disturbances, vivid dreams, a shift in symptoms, distress or anxiety, unpleasant memories, or unfamiliar and uncomfortable feelings and/or body sensations. Such reactions are not uncommon and are often a sign of healing. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or changes, you are encouraged to share them with me.
  4. As part of the Somatic Experiencing® therapy, I may offer you touch support. I will seek your informed consent before initiating touch. If you are not comfortable with touch, the session will not include any form of physical contact.
  5. Somatic Experiencing® therapy for trauma resolution is conducted over multiple sessions. However, you may terminate your sessions at any time. At termination, a closure session is generally recommended.
  6. Everything you share with me during a Somatic Experiencing® session will remain confidential. If you are a minor, I am required to share important information regarding your emotional health with your parents.
  7. A Somatic Experiencing® session is usually conducted seated in a chair. However, based on your personal comfort, I may invite you to lie on a therapy table. 
  8. Your Somatic Experiencing® session will begin at the time of the scheduled appointment and generally runs for 50 minutes. You are in complete control of the session and may end the session at any point.
  9. Each Somatic Experiencing® session of 50-minute duration will cost INR 2200. 
  10. In the event you are unable to attend a scheduled appointment, please provide a minimum of 24 hours’ advance notice of cancellation.

Booking of the Session indicates you have carefully read and accepted the terms of this consent form. 

BOOK YOUR SESSION

Schedule an Appointment Today at a time and day of your convenience.

Vital Force Taichi Academy is dedicated to bringing the best service in fitness and wellness to the community, enabling practitioners to get the most out of their body and mind.

 

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Phone: +91 94496 33267
Emailforcevitale@gmail.com

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