Somatic Experiencing

A body-oriented approach to trauma

What is Somatic Experiencing?

Dr. Peter Levine, a Meadows Senior Fellow and leader in cutting-edge trauma treatment, developed this body-oriented approach focused on stabilizing emotional and physiological distress. While studying the stress responses of animals in their natural environment, he discovered that trauma is not about the event, it is simply the biological and physiological response to the event. Somatic Experiencing works alongside our Meadows Model, both supporting the other in the healing process.

What Can It Treat?

Somatic Experiencing® is used to treat two types of trauma: shock trauma and developmental trauma. Shock trauma is caused by a single traumatic event or near-death experience. Developmental trauma refers to the damage that occurs during childhood development.


Unlike traditional therapies, the goal of Somatic Experiencing is to be present in the “here and now,” explore choices and options, and create stability in patients’ relationships and lives. Dr. Levine believes that accessing the nervous system and bypassing the brain allows for more relaxation, containment, and emotional self-regulation.

Change Your Story

Gentle Path is a safe, nurturing community composed of peers where your journey of recovery will include not just dealing with outward behaviors but examining the underlying causes. The goal is to gain the courage to face difficult issues (including grief and loss), heal from emotional trauma, and become accountable for your feelings, behaviors, and recovery.


Taking that first step is hard, but there’s a new life of health and hope just waiting for you. The next chapter of your life can begin now, but only you can change your story.

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