Leading with Grit & Gratitude


Jen Guidry

Somatic Experiencing

Jun 06, 2024

Somatic experiencing is a groundbreaking body-oriented therapeutic approach designed to address trauma and stress disorders. It's based on the understanding that trauma symptoms are the effects of the nervous system's inability to process stressful or threatening events. Unlike traditional therapies that primarily engage the cognitive and emotional aspects of trauma, somatic experiencing focuses on the physiological responses, offering a unique and effective path to healing. This approach underscores the importance of reconnecting with the body to overcome trauma, emphasizing the body's inherent ability to heal itself.

The Importance of Somatic Experiencing

Trauma can leave a lasting imprint not just on the mind but also on the body. People who have experienced trauma may find themselves in a constant state of fight, flight, or freeze, unable to return to a relaxed and balanced state. Somatic experiencing helps by facilitating the completion of these self-protective motor responses and releasing pent-up survival energy trapped in the body. This process allows individuals to gently work through trauma without needing to relive the traumatic event or delve deeply into their emotional turmoil.

How Somatic Experiencing Helps with Trauma

1. Restoring Autonomic Nervous System Balance: Somatic experiencing aids in rebalancing the autonomic nervous system (ANS). By focusing on bodily sensations and guiding individuals through the process of noticing and naming these sensations, it helps shift the ANS from a hyper aroused state or a shutdown state back to equilibrium.

2. Releasing Trapped Survival Energy: Trauma can leave individuals with an excess of survival energy that was never expended (e.g., the energy prepared for fight or flight). Somatic experiencing provides a safe environment for this energy to be slowly released. This release is often achieved through physical movements or exercises that help resolve the freeze response.

3. Developing a Sense of Safety: A core component of healing from trauma is developing a sense of safety within the body. Somatic experiencing encourages the cultivation of internal safety cues, allowing individuals to distinguish between past and present experiences. This differentiation is crucial for trauma survivors, who may often feel as if they are reliving past traumas in the present.

4. Enhancing Resilience and Regulation: Through the practice of somatic experiencing, individuals learn to better regulate their emotional and physiological states. This enhanced regulation supports resilience, enabling them to face stressors and triggers more effectively without becoming overwhelmed.

5. Promoting Mind-Body Integration: Somatic experiencing promotes the integration of mind and body, helping individuals to become more attuned to their bodily sensations and how these sensations relate to their emotions and thoughts. This awareness fosters a deeper connection to oneself and enhances overall well-being.

Somatic experiencing offers a powerful approach to healing from trauma by focusing on the body's wisdom and capacity for self-regulation. It provides a gentle yet profound path to recovery, allowing individuals to move past their trauma and reclaim a sense of vitality, safety, and well-being. For those looking to explore this therapeutic approach, it's important to seek out a qualified practitioner who can guide you through the process in a safe and supportive environment.

If you're struggling with the aftermath of trauma and traditional therapy hasn't fully addressed your needs, consider exploring somatic experiencing. This approach can offer a new pathway to healing, one that respects the body's role in trauma and recovery. Remember, healing is possible, and with the right support, you can move towards a more integrated and fulfilling life.


Jen Guidry is the #1 holistic, somatic experiencing and trauma-informed executive coach for women and female loan officers. She is also a best-selling author who helps her clients find life-balance, overcome past trauma, and achieve high-level success. Follow Jen on LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook to continue to get great insight and inspiration.