Trauma is a fact of life. Most of us, not just soldiers or victims of violence, have been traumatized at some point in our lives. The sources of trauma are wide-ranging; these include natural disasters, exposure to violence, accidents, falls, serious illness, sudden loss of a loved one, medical and dental procedures, childhood injuries, neglect or abuse, difficult births, and even high levels of stress and/or toxicity during gestation in the womb. Any event that engenders a sense of helplessness may be experienced as trauma.

 

Traumatic experiences can manifest themselves through many different symptoms. These symptoms can include panic, anxiety, hypervigilance, chronic pain, depression, sleep disorders, addictions of all kinds, gastrointestinal disorders, autoimmune disorders, sexual dysfunction, dissociation, and many more. The key to understanding why these symptoms occur lies in our biology.

 

Whenever we are faced with a perceived threat we go into a "fight or flight" response and an enormous amount of instinctive survival energy is released. Once aroused, our survival response needs to come to successful completion for our nervous systems to come back to a state of rest and equilibrium. However, so often in our modern society we are not able to fight or flee, in which case our bodies go into a state of immobility 

Somatic Experiencing

or “freezes.” This immobilized state may look calm on the outside, but can be causing a tremendous amount of internal chaos and unrest. Somatic Experiencing (SE), allows people to break through these learned defenses and work directly with the inherent wisdom of the body. Patient's who are involved in SE learn to bypass the higher brain by utilizing the “language” of the primitive brain—sensation. At the Camden Center, our expert therapists are able to gently work with our clients to gradually help them get to a place where they feel safe and supported enough to allow the inherent body wisdom to takes over. Essentially, by providing time, a safe environment, and support, the primitive, oldest, wisest part of the brain is given permission to take over and discharge the survival energies which are no longer needed, resulting in a restored sense of settling and well-being.

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