Dr. Peter A. Levine, a pioneer in the field of psychology, visits the Rerooted podcast to discuss healing trauma through Somatic Experiencing.
Dr. Peter A. Levine has worked in the field of stress and trauma for over 40 years and is the developer of the Somatic Experiencing method. Peter was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP). He also received the honorary Reis Davis Chair in Child Psychiatry for his innovative contribution to therapy for children and adolescents. Learn more at traumahealing.org.
Trauma and Memory
What is the connection between trauma, stress and our memory? Peter speaks about the important differences in explicit (declarative) memory, body (procedural) memory, and emotional (limbic) memory. He and Francesca discuss the interconnection between these forms of memory and how they relate to trauma.
“A specific class of procedural memories are the memories that have to do with threat, danger, helplessness, and shutdown. These are profound global states that the nervous system and the body goes through. What happens, if we have been unsuccessful where we have been threatened and we were overwhelmed. Is that memory will become long-lasting. Sort of like how the memory of riding a bike becomes long-lasting. These memories tend to be permanent. But they are not. We have to access them. And the way to access them is through the body. Through sensation.” – Dr. Peter A. Levine
Healing Through Somatic Experiencing (12:35)
How can working with sensation relieve our deep-seated traumas? We explore the mind, body, connection that allows Somatic Experiencing to heal in an integrated way. Peter shares a practice that uses with clients to get in touch and work with the senses.
A Gateway to the Heart (24:00)
Can the journey to healing trauma become a portal to a spiritual awakening? Francesca and Peter discuss the way that traumatic experiences can get in the way of our social engagement system and cause isolation from our interconnection with the world. They look at the ways that trauma shifts us out of our natural state of calm and locks us into a detached state of fight or flight.
“To really have an authentic experience in the meditation practice, we do need to in some ways address the trauma that is there in the territory of consciousness.” – Dr. Peter A. Levine