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Somatic Experiencing®

An innovative tool for trauma

Understanding Stress Responses

Somatic Experiencing® is a body-oriented approach developed by Dr. Peter Levine, a Meadows Senior Fellow and leader in cutting-edge trauma treatment. While studying the stress responses of animals in their natural environment, he discovered that trauma is not about the event, but is actually the biological and physiological response to the event. Our Meadows Model helps patients find the words to describe what they feel and Somatic Experiencing works to stabilize emotional and physiological distress. These two approaches support each other in the healing process.

Peter Levine

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.

Man in distress


Our Admissions team is here to help 24 hours a day and is experienced in assisting others with compassion, dignity, and respect — hallmark values of The Meadows for more than 45 years. The Meadows’ Admissions Specialists are here to help you on your way to a healthier and more productive lifestyle. When you call, they will lead you through a series of questions to determine if The Meadows is a good fit, and how soon your treatment can begin. If you are interested in The Meadows for yourself or a loved one, call or fill out an admissions form today!

If you are interested in The Meadows for yourself or a loved one call or fill out an admissions form today!

Contact our Admissions office

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For international callers

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