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Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body Paperback – Illustrated, October 1, 2008
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A revolutionary body-based therapy for healing from physical trauma and abuse, inspired by the way animals release traumatic stress in the wild. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Peter A. Levine, PhD, has spent 45 years studying and treating stress and trauma. He holds a doctorate degree in medical biophysics from the University of California at Berkeley and in psychology from International University. He is the developer of Somatic Experiencing®, a naturalistic approach to healing trauma. He has practiced and taught at treatment centers, hospitals, and pain clinics throughout the world, and has dealt with a wide range of trauma, including accidents, rapes, assaults, abuse, and invasive medical procedures. Peter was a stress consultant for NASA during the development of the Space Shuttle program. He served with the Institute for World Affairs Task Force for "Psychologists for Social Responsibility" and the American Psychological Association "Presidential Initiative on Responding to Large-Scale Disasters and Ethno-Centric Warfare." He is also the bestselling author of Waking the Tiger (published in 22 languages), as well as several other books and audio programs that teach people how to use the body as a tool in resolving trauma. Peter is the founder of the Foundation for Human Enrichment, based out of Boulder, Colorado, which now has a membership of 5,000 Somatic Experiencing® training practitioners worldwide. His current interests include prevention of trauma in children, for which he has published two books, his most recent being Trauma-Proofing Your Kids: a Parent's Guide to Instilling Confidence, Joy, and Resilience.
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My biggest problem is moving from my head into my body, however, I am slowly climbing mountains- and Dr. Levine's work is unique, unlike any other approach I've experienced. It's not easy and it's not supposed to be easy. Somatic Experiencing focuses directly on the work that needs to be done. To care about your body enough to go through mundane, extremely simple exercises and be dedicated.
In 3 years I had been to 13 different doctors in fields of psychology and neurology. I had only a few good experiences, and only in finding Somatic Experiencing have I discovered something radically different. It reminds me of what I learned in overcoming a visceral, biological anti-needle reaction. Your brain doesn't change until your body does.
It's not perfect, it's not easy, you may have the greatest doubts and least faith in the midst of these exercises. It might feel boring and uneventful, as if you are doing nothing and it doesn't feel traumatic or even real. But that is just part of how it is, when we are numb, stuck off, unaware, or stuck on, blind. There is no "wrong" way to do these exercises. At first I could feel that I was bad at them somehow, and I had to just keep doing it poorly to get through those bad parts and get better. Doing it poorly was freeing enough that it allowed me to get better. The difficulty of these exercises helped me realize that I don't have to have high standards or be so great at achieving this healing, I can take it much slower. For much of my life, I have been able to lean on my over-active mind as a crutch, a spontaneous creator. But to really learn, I have to struggle. It has to be uncomfortable.
I would recommend these exercises to anyone struggling to get out of repetitious habits, addictions, or struggling to gain autonomy & willpower.