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Resolving Trauma in Psychotherapy: A Somatic Approach

by Peter Levine
Watch a true master, Dr. Peter A. Levine, demonstrate a course of body-oriented trauma therapy in this extremely compelling and in-depth video with an Iraq Veteran diagnosed with severe PTSD.

Resolving Trauma in Psychotherapy: A Somatic Approach
Working with Ray’s presenting symptoms over the course of five sessions, Levine introduces a number of essential trauma resolution techniques that markedly improve Ray’s Tourette-like convulsions, as well as his overall pain and emotional outlook. Levine developed Somatic Experiencing® based on the premise that trauma overwhelms the nervous system and that it needs to be addressed somatically before emotional processing is possible. Thorough commentary by Levine, as well as an extensive interview, helps to elucidate the subtleties of his methods. You will walk away from this video with a sound understanding of this approach to trauma work. This method can be integrated with and add richness to a number of therapeutic modalities and can be used to treat all manner of trauma – from car accidents, surgeries, child abuse, experiences of violence, and so on.
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"...I felt I was watching a compleat combination of Milton Erickson, Wilhelm Reich, or some of his softer disciples, and Carl Rogers. The focus on each movement of the body and body energy was a delight to watch. Levine's observational skills and ability to bring his observations respectfully into the therapeutic relationship are superb and obviously a result of years of disciplined study....For those who work somatically, this DVD set will both encourage, as you observe skills you already use, and inspire, as you see new and more advanced possibilities available for your work. For those whose trauma work has thus far not allowed a somatic perspective, these sessions will open the door to more effective and powerful ways of working."
-- Doug Southeren, reviewed in Psychotherapy in Australia

"In this DVD, Peter Levine teaches and exemplifies a wise, experienced and kindly approach to working with trauma survivors. Several important and useful concepts are covered, including the creation of a safe space, the timing of attention to traumatic issues, the need to pay close attention to visible expressions of tension, confusion and, conversely, relaxation and understanding, as well as a sensitive assessment of the use of touch to promote healing. He clearly has a deep understanding of the impact of trauma in all its varieties, and possesses a mastery of techniques for treating this deserving population."
-- Frank Ochberg, MD - Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Michigan State University, Editor of Post-traumatic Therapy and Victims of Violence, Founder,

"This video provides an especially clear demonstration of Peter Levine’s highly effective approach to working with trauma. His sessions with Ray, an Iraq war veteran, show how Peter slowly and gently guides Ray towards the reduction of his symptoms and the recovery of self-regulation. In breakouts from the sessions, Peter explains the underlying physiology of trauma and how he treats it step by careful step, without re-traumatizing his client. These DVD’s of actual sessions are probably the most powerful, effective way to understand and appreciate Peter Levine’s finely attuned approach to working with the terrible tragedy of trauma."
-- Ron Kurtz, DHL - Founder of the Hakomi Method; Author of Body-Centered Psychotherapy

"Levine masterfully works with the soldier using the somatic-experiencing technique that he developed during the last 40 years…Levine’s knowledge of trauma and how it affects the body is amazing, and he uses it with precision to bring out the trauma and heal the body and mind. It is a respectful and powerful approach…This two DVD set offers new tools and perspectives about trauma and healing. I recommend this DVD and I already have told several people about it."
-- John D. Lentz, D.Min., reviewed in The Milton H. Erickson Foundation Newsletter

"This double DVD set contributes substantially to the field of psychotherapy and trauma work.The manual is well written and clearly articulates the main tenets of the theory, and the case study is an eye-opening example of the potential impact....I highly recommend this DVD for anyone with an interest in trauma-work and body work integrated into psychotherapy."
-- Margot Sennett, reviewed in The New Therapist (South Africa)
In Depth
CE Test
By watching this video, you will:

• Learn the nine building blocks of the Somatic Experiencing® approach
• Understand the physiological orientation that underpins this method of trauma resolution
• Have the tools to integrate basic somatic methods into your clinical work with trauma clients
Length of video: 3:20:00
Number of Discs: 2
English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD
This DVD plays in All Regions
Individual ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-214-X
Individual ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-214-3
Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-213-1
Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-213-6
Peter LevinePeter A. Levine, PhD, is the developer of Somatic Experiencing© and founder of the Foundation for Human Enrichment. He teaches trainings in this work throughout the world and in various indigenous cultures. Levine is the author of the best-selling book Waking the Tiger : Healing Trauma : The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences and he has recently co-published a comprehensive book on childhood trauma, Trauma Through a Child's Eyes: Awakening the Ordinary Miracle of Healing as well as a guide for parents, Trauma-Proofing Your Kids: A Parents' Guide for Instilling Confidence, Joy and Resilience. He is the recipient of the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from the the US Association of Body Psychotherapy.
Hi I am an ex Police officer from Victoria Australia. On 8th November 2012, I was involved in a high speed head on collision during a pursuit. In my incident the offender drove onto the wrong side of the road while being pursued by another unit. He came around a bend and hit us at a combined speed of 130KPH. I received a fractured vertebrae concussion and PTSD. The turret like twitching began about 6 weeks after the event and I was hospitalised in a Psych unit. I have spent the last 12 months with Trauma therapy and I recently saw Dr Peter LEVINE'S video interview with the Iraq war vet. It was just like watching me. I wasn't alone with these symptoms.
Just watched the DVD that you made with Peter Levine. What an amazing process you filmed! Congratulations! I was riveted and found the filming did not interfere with what was a deeply moving therapeutic encounter. Thank you for capturing this with such elegance and respect for the client.
Satsuki Ina, PhD, Professor Emeritus,Department of Counselor Education,California State University, Sacramento.
Your exquisite work on the Peter Levine DVD truly shines. You have included many excellent teaching moments from the work Peter did with this soldier, and the questions you have asked Peter serve to further illuminate the reasoning behind his specific interventions. I'm in the middle of taking SE training abroad, and I think this DVD is a beautifully crafted demonstration of the subtlety and gentle approach of this amazing body-oriented autonomic nervous system rebalancing technique for use with trauma survivors and those who have had other overwhelming life events. I bought the Instructor's version and I truly appreciate how you have included the booklet and notes for me to use with students/interns. The notes are useful, precise, easy to understand for new learners and also comprehensive. We don't yet have the full SE Training available in Australia but your DVD certainly gives me a great place to start with training therapists in how to resource clients well and how to slowly proceed with traumatised and overwhelmed clients to release stored energy in their body so as not to overwhelm the nervous system or retraumatise them again. Bravo! Well done. I dare say this is the best DVD you've ever produced. And as you know, over the years, I have purchased many of them.
Dr. Roby Abeles, Sydney, Australia
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CE credits: 5
Learning objectives:

  • Explain the nine building blocks of Somatic Experiencing®.
  • Describe techniques to establish a safe environment, orient the client to the here-and-now, and explore bodily sensations.
  • Understand the physiological basis of trauma.