Alameda, CA – In the wild, when an animal escapes its predator, it can easily recover from the trauma of almost being eaten, shake off, and move on with its life. According to biologist and psychologist Dr. Peter A. Levine, humans used to have this capacity and we can learn to hardness this healing energy through Somatic Experiencing.
Somatic Experiencing is a psycho-biological method for resolving trauma symptoms and relieving chronic stress. Vera Gassner is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in trauma and an expert in utilizing Somatic Experiencing in helping people heal.
“Trauma has always been a part of my life,” says Vera. “I’m a Jewish immigrant from Poland and being an immigrant was one of my original traumas. I feel like I’m still learning how to breathe."
Trauma is about the inability of feeling safe. The premise of Somatic Psychology is that trauma is stored in the body.
“As a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, I’m a detective,” says Vera. “Doing this type of work is like peeling an onion. There are so many layers. I know what questions I can ask to help the client define where in their body the trauma is stuck, and how it can be encouraged to move, and slowly discharge.
Somatic Experiencing employs awareness of body sensation to help 'renegotiate', rather than re-live or re-enact trauma. In session, Vera combines her own experience negotiating trauma with her training in Somatic Therapy to teach her clients how they can be more aware of what they’re feeling.
“There’s strength in being a wounded healer,” says Vera. “It’s difficult working with complex trauma, but I’m honored to be part of assisting clients in discovering the wisdom of the body."
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