Somatic Experiencing Therapy in WI

Have you ever felt like you’re trapped in a cycle of negative thoughts, anxiety, and unhealthy habits that you can’t break free from? We’ve all been there. The good news is that there are effective treatments available to help rewire your mind and body, giving you the freedom and control over your life that you deserve. 

Somatic Experiencing Therapy is one approach that can be particularly helpful for overcoming addiction and enhancing your mental health. Recovery Integrity can support you on this journey! We provide somatic experiencing therapy as one of our addiction therapies for men and women in Fond Du Lac, WI.

Somatic Experiencing Therapy (SET),  developed by Dr. Peter A. Levine, is a body-centered trauma therapy. It’s based on the idea that trauma gets stored in the body, and by releasing it, you can heal from the emotional and psychological impacts. SET works by helping you become aware of the physical sensations caused by trauma and then slowly releasing them in a controlled way.

Besides its effectiveness in treating trauma from events like accidents, injuries, abuse, natural disasters, and combat, SET can also help with:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety treatment and panic disorders
  • Depression treatment for men
  • Addiction
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Gastrointestinal issues
Somatic Therapy in Wisconsin

Today, SET continues to meet the diverse needs of individuals seeking healing from trauma and the associated mental health challenges. Its adaptability and effectiveness have led to widespread adoption not only in the United States but also across the globe. This global acceptance of SET highlights its pervasive importance and influence in the field of trauma therapy.

Somatic Therapy Types That Can Be Integrated into SET

While there is primarily one type of Somatic Experiencing Therapy, practitioners may employ a variety of techniques and complementary approaches that can be integrated with Somatic Experiencing:

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is a well-known therapeutic approach that involves a thorough understanding of the complex interaction between the body and the mind. This method uses the body as a direct route to treat and cure emotional, psychological, and even traumatic traumas. It is based on the idea that our bodies contain significant insights and wisdom.

The Hakomi Method employs a mindful strategy for somatic therapy. It posits that each individual is composed of essential elements—namely, the emotions, thoughts, and beliefs that constitute their personality. This therapeutic approach enables individuals to become aware of their fundamental components and to embrace, question, or modify them. It is guided by five fundamental principles:

  • Mindfulness
  • Nonviolence
  • Mind-body integration
  • Unity
  • Organicity

Individuals who suffer from symptoms that are more physically based on the mind-body continuum benefit from neurosomatic therapy. NST locates the soft tissues, skeletal system, and neurological system as the hidden causes of physical stress and discomfort. The primary methods of this therapy include massage, exercises to correct imbalances, and a focus on posture.

It’s important to note that while these approaches can enhance the efficacy of Somatic Experiencing Therapy, the choice of techniques remains dependent on the individual’s needs, comfort level, and expertise of the therapist. If you’re considering Somatic Experiencing Therapy for residential addiction treatment in WI, discussing these variations with a qualified practitioner can help you determine which approach aligns best with your goals and preferences.

How Does Somatic Experiencing Therapy Work to Treat Addiction?

When you experience a traumatic event, your nervous system gets stuck in a state of being hyper-sensitive to any stimuli. This can lead to anxiety, panic attacks, and unhealthy coping mechanisms like addiction.

Through gentle movements, breathing exercises, and verbal guidance, a SET therapist helps you access the traumatic memories in your body. You’re then able to slowly release the built-up energy and return to a calm, regulated state. Over time, as you discharge this pent-up energy, the traumatic event loses its power over you.

SET gives you tools to self-regulate when traumatic sensations arise. You learn to notice the signals in your body that indicate you’re becoming dysregulated, then employ techniques to return to a balanced state. This ability to self-soothe can help prevent relapses into addictive behaviors.

SET also helps address the underlying trauma that often contributes to addiction. Unresolved trauma, especially in childhood, shapes your nervous system to constantly seek ways to numb emotional and physical pain. Releasing trauma through SET can help break this cycle, allowing you to build resilience and find healthier ways of coping.

Overall, Somatic Experiencing Therapy is a very gentle yet powerful approach to overcoming addiction and learning to thrive in recovery. By giving you a sense of safety in your own body, it helps you establish a firm foundation for sustainable well-being and growth.

cropped image of female counselor writing in clipboard and smili

Who is a Good Candidate for Somatic Experiencing Therapy?

SET can benefit anyone struggling with the effects of trauma or wanting to improve their mental health and relationship with their body. It is a non-drug approach, suitable for all ages and abilities. You do not need to be physically fit to practice SET.

Some other signs you may be a good candidate for SET include:

  • You have a history of traumatic experiences like abuse, accidents, natural disasters, or combat. Trauma can cause changes in your nervous system that lead to symptoms like anxiety, depression, PTSD, addiction, and health issues.
  • You struggle with chronic stress or burnout. Prolonged stress takes a toll on your body and mind. SET can help you reconnect with your body and find inner calm.
  • You have an addiction or substance use disorder. Trauma is often an underlying cause of addiction. SET  helps address the root causes of addictive behaviors and gives you skills to better cope with cravings and triggers.
  • You have unexplained physical symptoms like pain, digestive issues, migraines, or skin conditions. These types of symptoms are sometimes linked to trauma or chronic stress in the body. SET can help reduce symptoms by releasing pent-up energy and tension.
  • You feel disconnected from your body or emotions. Some people develop unhealthy coping mechanisms to avoid feeling or sensing what’s going on in their bodies. SET helps you rebuild your mind-body connection in a gentle, gradual way.
  • You’ve had limited success with talk therapy. For some, talking about trauma or addiction is re-traumatizing or ineffective. SET takes a body-based approach that can reach places that words alone cannot.

If any of this resonates with you, SET can help you recover from trauma and regain your health and well-being. A skilled somatic-experience practitioner can guide you through this life-changing process.

What to Look for in a Somatic Therapist

When seeking a somatic therapist, it’s important to determine your specific issue and the approach that interests you most. For instance, if you’re dealing with PTSD, it’s advisable to find a mental health professional who specializes not only in somatic therapy but also in treating PTSD and trauma. On the other hand, if your goal is to manage general stress and cultivate mindfulness, a practitioner who emphasizes mindfulness exercises would be a more suitable choice. 

When considering a Somatic therapist, here are several essential qualities to keep in mind:

Ensure the therapist is properly certified and trained in Somatic therapy techniques to guarantee a foundational understanding of principles and practices.

Prioritize therapists with a proven track record and ample experience, as this is likely to provide more effective guidance.

Establishing a good rapport between you and the therapist is crucial. Somatic therapy for addiction involves sensitive and personal exploration, making comfort and understanding essential for progress.

Look for a therapist who displays empathy, active listening skills, and a non-judgmental attitude. These traits contribute to a supportive environment.

A skilled somatic therapist should create an environment that is safe and supportive, fostering your healing journey.

Seek referrals, read reviews, and conduct research to gauge the therapist’s reputation and success stories from clients.

These factors combined will help you find a Somatic therapist who suits your needs and facilitates a productive therapeutic experience.

What to Expect During a SET Session

In a session of somatic therapy for addiction, you can expect a blend of verbal discussion and physical techniques. Typically, therapists assist individuals in exploring traumatic experiences while observing bodily sensations. Subsequently, they guide individuals through various physical methods, such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, and meditation, to alleviate symptoms.

Following each session, individuals are encouraged to sustain somatic therapy practices like engaging in exercise, yoga, dance, or other forms of physical activity. This may also encompass vocal exercises or massages.

Within a somatic therapy session, individuals are prompted to reflect on their behavioral patterns and discern how these may influence emerging emotions or issues.

Somatic Therapy Wisconsin

Receive Addiction Treatment at Wisconsin Recovery Institute

Somatic therapy for addiction provides a number of proven advantages for individuals dealing with mental health issues like PTSD, anxiety, and depression. If you or someone you know is struggling with trauma and addiction, reach out to us at Wisconsin Recovery Institute in WI, California.

Our dedicated team of professionals is committed to guiding men and women towards lasting healing and transformation. Through personalized addiction treatment programs, evidence-based therapies, and a nurturing environment, we empower individuals to confront the challenges of addiction, address underlying factors, and build a foundation for a life of sobriety. With a holistic approach that considers physical, emotional, and psychological well-being, Wisconsin Recovery Institute paves the way for individuals to reclaim their lives and discover the strength within themselves. Contact us now!

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