Somatic Experiencing Practitioner

A body-oriented therapeutic approach that helps resolve trauma and stress-related issues.


Somatic Experiencing Practitioner refers to a professional trained in the Somatic Experiencing (SE) method, a body-focused approach to healing trauma and stress-related disorders. SE practitioners guide clients through a process of becoming aware of and releasing physical tensions, sensations, and emotions associated with traumatic experiences, promoting self-regulation and resilience. The approach emphasizes the importance of the mind-body connection in resolving trauma and restoring overall well-being.

Did you know?

Well Me Right offers thousands of virtual and online health and wellness sessions from wellness experts, health coaches, and other holistic health and fitness professionals.

Browse and book a FREE discovery session with the world’s leading wellness experts & get advice over a video call.


Somatic Experiencing (SE) was developed by Dr. Peter A. Levine, a psychologist and biophysicist, in the 1970s. Inspired by his observations of animals in the wild and their ability to recover from life-threatening situations, Levine began to explore how the human body responds to and stores traumatic experiences. He discovered that trauma can become trapped in the nervous system, leading to a range of psychological and physical symptoms. Levine developed SE as a way to gently release this stored trauma by working with the body's natural healing mechanisms, rather than relying solely on cognitive or emotional approaches.


  1. Resolves Trauma SE helps individuals process and release the physical and emotional effects of trauma, promoting healing and reducing symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
  2. Improves Emotional Regulation By increasing awareness of bodily sensations and learning to self-regulate, clients develop greater emotional stability and resilience.
  3. Relieves Chronic Pain SE can help alleviate chronic pain by addressing the underlying emotional and physical tensions that contribute to pain.
  4. Enhances Mind-Body Connection SE promotes a deeper understanding and integration of the mind-body relationship, leading to improved overall well-being.
  5. Gentle and Non-Invasive The SE approach is gentle and respectful of the client's boundaries, allowing for a gradual and safe process of healing.
  6. Applicable to Various Populations SE can be effective for a wide range of individuals, including adults, children, and those with complex trauma histories.

How It Works

Somatic Experiencing is a body-oriented approach that helps individuals regulate their nervous system and process traumatic experiences. The practitioner guides the client to develop awareness of physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions. Through titration, pendulation, and resourcing techniques, the client gradually releases stuck energy and tension, restoring a sense of safety and resilience. The practitioner supports the client in completing self-protective responses, integrating fragmented memories, and building capacity to handle stress. Sessions involve tracking bodily sensations, dialogue, and gentle touch (with consent) to promote healing and self-regulation.


While Somatic Experiencing can be highly effective for trauma recovery, it may not be suitable for everyone. Individuals with severe dissociation, active substance abuse, or certain mental health conditions may require additional support or a different approach. The process can be slow and gradual, requiring patience and commitment. Some clients may experience temporary discomfort or intense emotions as they navigate traumatic memories. It's essential to find a qualified practitioner who creates a safe, supportive environment and respects boundaries. Somatic Experiencing is not a substitute for medical treatment or psychiatric care when needed.

How Much It Costs

The cost of working with a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner can vary depending on factors such as location, practitioner experience, and session length. On average, a 60-minute session can range from $100 to $200. Some practitioners may offer sliding scale fees based on income. Initial consultations may be shorter and less expensive, around $50 to $100. Clients should inquire about package deals or discounts for multiple sessions. Insurance coverage for Somatic Experiencing varies; some plans may cover it under mental health benefits, while others consider it alternative care.

Virtual & Online Options

Virtual Somatic Experiencing sessions offer convenience and accessibility, allowing clients to receive support from the comfort of their own space. Online sessions can be particularly beneficial for those with mobility issues, transportation difficulties, or living in areas with limited access to practitioners. However, in-person sessions may provide a more immersive, focused experience and allow for physical touch interventions when appropriate. In-person sessions also minimize potential distractions and technical issues. Ultimately, the choice between virtual and in-person sessions depends on individual preferences, needs, and circumstances.


To become a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP), individuals must complete a comprehensive training program through the Somatic Experiencing International (SEI) organization. The training consists of three levels: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced, totaling 216 hours of instruction. Participants must also complete 18 hours of case consultations, 12 hours of personal sessions, and a written exam. Upon completion, practitioners are awarded the SEP designation. Additional training in specialized areas, such as working with children or couples, is available. SEPs are required to adhere to a code of ethics and pursue continuing education to maintain their certification.

Complementary Practices

Somatic Experiencing can be complemented by other body-centered therapies and practices such as yoga, mindfulness meditation, tai chi, qigong, and dance/movement therapy. These practices help individuals develop a greater awareness of their physical sensations, emotions, and internal experiences, which can enhance the effectiveness of Somatic Experiencing sessions. Additionally, incorporating self-care practices like deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and regular exercise can support the healing process and promote overall well-being.

Practitioner Types

Somatic Experiencing Practitioners come from various professional backgrounds, including licensed mental health professionals such as psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors. Other healthcare providers like occupational therapists, physical therapists, and nurses may also pursue training in Somatic Experiencing. Additionally, some bodyworkers, such as massage therapists and Rolfers, may integrate Somatic Experiencing techniques into their practice to address the emotional and psychological aspects of physical tension and trauma.

Are you an expert?

Turn your knowledge into impact & income and share your expertise, grow, and improve lives. Become a Wellness Expert on Well Me Right.

Offer paid wellness sessions for 1:1 virtual coaching and support and connect with wellness-seeking individuals on Well Me Right.


  • Q: What is Somatic Experiencing and how does it work?

    • A: Somatic Experiencing is a body-oriented therapy that helps individuals resolve symptoms of trauma and chronic stress. It works by gently guiding clients to develop awareness of their physical sensations, allowing them to discharge trapped survival energy and restore a sense of safety and equilibrium in the body.
  • Q: What kind of trauma can Somatic Experiencing help with?

    • A: Somatic Experiencing can be effective in treating a wide range of trauma, including developmental trauma, shock trauma (such as accidents, natural disasters, or assaults), and complex trauma resulting from ongoing abuse or neglect. It can also help with stress-related conditions like anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.
  • Q: How is Somatic Experiencing different from talk therapy?

    • A: While traditional talk therapy focuses primarily on thoughts and emotions, Somatic Experiencing emphasizes the role of the body in processing and resolving trauma. It helps clients develop awareness of their physical sensations and teaches them to regulate their nervous system, allowing for a more comprehensive healing process.
  • Q: What can I expect during a Somatic Experiencing session?

    • A: During a Somatic Experiencing session, your practitioner will guide you to notice and track your physical sensations, feelings, and impulses related to a traumatic event or stressful experience. They will help you to gently explore and release any trapped survival energy, while ensuring that you stay within your window of tolerance to avoid overwhelming your nervous system.
  • Q: How long does Somatic Experiencing therapy take?

    • A: The length of Somatic Experiencing therapy varies depending on the individual and the nature of their trauma. Some people may experience significant relief after just a few sessions, while others may require longer-term treatment. Your practitioner will work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your unique needs and goals.


Somatic Experiencing is a powerful and effective approach to healing trauma and chronic stress by working with the body's innate wisdom and resilience. By addressing the physical and physiological aspects of trauma, Somatic Experiencing helps individuals to release trapped survival energy, restore a sense of safety and equilibrium, and develop greater self-regulation and resilience. With its gentle, titrated approach and emphasis on staying within the window of tolerance, Somatic Experiencing offers a safe and supportive path to healing for individuals from all walks of life. Whether you are seeking relief from the effects of a single traumatic event or the cumulative impact of chronic stress and adversity, working with a skilled Somatic Experiencing Practitioner can help you to reclaim your innate capacity for wholeness, vitality, and connection.