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Somatic Experiencing-Hey it works

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Eric "Herbie" Watson, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    Hi Forest, I remember reading a post of yours somewhere sometime asking those members that have tried Somatic Experience for feed back on their experiences. Well here is mine; I have had four sessions with a SE practitioner (in London vis Skype) and I can honestly say my pain, fear and anxiety have increased. I have been reassured by my practitioner that this happens due to focussing on the pain more, and, with more and more awareness of the felt sense the pain will lessen. She says that it is important to "inhabit" rather than "separate" from out bodies and then we are eventually able to take control. I was prompted to try SE after reading "Awaking the Tiger"and the posts by other members, Eric, Chicken bone etc and also because it was a trauma that started my tension then myofascial pain. I do exercises called Titration and Pendulation about four times a day (that is more than enough for me), perhaps I am expecting miracles to happen, but like many others I am so fed up with pain and to cause myself more just does not seem right. I wondered if you had had any further posts similar to mine where pain increases initially (which makes sense if one is focussing on it) and which improves as we become more aware and compassionate towards it. Once again I would really value your feedback. Many thanks Forest.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Abbo,

    It can be completely natural for symptoms to increase before they get better. Alan Gordon calls this an extinction burst, and many on the forum refer to it as "the TMS getting nervous." It's pretty amazing how often we see new symptoms appear just as people start treating their symptoms seriously. Assuming all medical causes have been ruled out, I think of that as a good sign.

    On the other hand, if you have a history of trauma, I think that pacing is important. You don't want to rush into something and, while I'm not an SE practitioner, my sense is that the point of titration and pendulation is to give you a way of exploring these traumatic things while still feeling safe. You want to work with an experienced and properly trained practitioner who has your confidence.

    Sometimes we can feel things in our bodies that we aren't yet able to feel in our conscious minds. When we can't feel our own emotions consciously and can't describe them, that is referred to as "alexithymia," which literally means "no words for feelings." ISTDP, Somatic Experiencing, Focusing and many other therapies teach us to use our bodies to realize how we feel. I do this myself, paying attention to the physical symptoms of stress so I can better understand what is going on in my brain beneath conscious awareness.

    We need to know the basics of what is going on in our unconscious in order to think psychological, but I'm not a fan of taking it too far. I think that emotional awareness and insight provides a good foundation, but in the end, TMS is a message from our unconscious telling us that our reservoir of rage is overflowing and that we need to find a new way of living - generally one that has more happiness and less frustration. Often, we have to find ways of putting less pressure on ourselves.

    I've got to run at the moment, but you might want to take a look at the following post and the two after it:
    http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/overdoing-feeling-the-feelings.12706/#post-66853 (Overdoing feeling the feelings)
    I think TMS healing is all about balance, and you want to find the balance that is right for you.
    mike2014 and Ellen like this.
  3. Abbo

    Abbo Well known member

    Hi Forest, I have just found your reply to me (the website didn't inform me this time).
    Thank you very much for responding so quickly. I have been having SE via Skype but have not been happy doing it this way as I do not feel connected to the therapist. I am now going to have therapy face to face with a practitioner who lives quite a distance from me but I think it will be well worth the travel as I think I will respond better.
    I embarked upon this way of therapy as it was trauma to my pelvis that started my chronic tension, stress, fear and pain and from what I understand the "holding" sensation I have in my whole body is an indication that I am "holding on to the trauma, that my body has never been able to release the"freeze" response and all this trauma is contained within the nervous system. I have since read many articles all explaining that we must stay with our sensations even if only for a moment as by doing so we have started to heal, and, that initially "feeling the sensations" can cause more pain
    I have to try this therapy as it all makes sense to me as it is my nervous system that is so hyperactive and increases so easily when experiencing any emotions. I am at the point where I am desperate to try anything to help me release this terrible tension and burning from my body. I will let you know how I respond. It may be helpful to other members, though on saying that what works for one person does not mean it could work for someone else!
    I will add that the modalities in SE are very similar to TMS I.e. mindfulness, meditation, being aware of emotions, reacting to them etc. therefore I feel I am still practising TMS therapy.
    As always, many thanks to you Forest. You are a remarkable man, always being supportive and helping all of us TMSers.

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