Conversation with Karin Schoeber: A Brief Encounter with Somatic Experiencing (SE)

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Nov 17, 2013 (5 years and 4 months ago)


Conversation with Karin Schoeber:

A Brief Encounter with Somatic Experiencing (SE)

You are trained in both the trauma healing work of Peter Levine and in
Systemic Constellation and use them together in your practice. How do SE and
Systemic Constellation
fit together?

The two are complementary processes. The inner structures that arise in systemic
constellation are nearly all related to encounters with trauma. SE adds a depth of
understanding and process that is an excellent adjunct to systemic constellat
ion. At
the same time, the recognition that trauma
related structures are passed on across
generations, adds a needed dimension to trauma work.

Both SE and systemic constellation ask for meeting the client with presence and
safely containing the process,

but not constricting it or intruding upon it. Both
processes are invitations based more in being, than in doing. One could say that SE
is an internal perception training, while Systemic Constellation is a process to aid
perception through externalization
of the inner world. Both bring consciousness into
contact with the inner structures, introduce flow and encourage self

What do you mean by perception training?

Perception training is for learning discernment

to come into contact with and
ifferentiate subtler qualities of perception and of what is perceived. Conscious
perception is more embodied than mere mental observation. It opens to sensing,
feeling, recognizing and connecting to one’s own actual life experiences, to hearing,
sensing an
d feeling one’s inner voice. It is about balancing the need for belonging
with the movement towards being an authentic individual.

What is an authentic individual?

An authentic individual is one who is simply being oneself, being completely different
in o
ne’s own field

neither caught in resistance while striving to become an
individual, nor trapped in outdated patterns of needing to connect and belong. The
authentic individual connects to themselves, others and to life itself. Which means
that there is a

very special set of unique qualities in the individual and a flow of
resources through them. The authentic individual is not clustered in a predictable
pattern where one belongs through being the same as everyone else. Instead he or
she is in fresh, unpre
dictable, primary living. This one is a stranger, sensitive,
different and strong, following the inner voice.

What are the major contributions to trauma therapy of Peter Levine’s Somatic
Experiencing (SE)?

Two things. First, he gave a definition to traum
a. Everything that is too much, too
fast, too intense or severe for the organism leads to a trauma response. Encounters
with death and loss or things that are too strong, overload the whole organism,
leading to body contraction and a loss of resilience. Tr
auma paralyzes the organism’s
ability to respond. It is a movement out of elasticity, away from the self
righting ability
of the organism to return to balance. And secondly, he offers a process to lead the
client to his natural resilience.

How does SE le
ad clients to their natural resilience?

In SE, one assumes that the body can regulate itself, with only an impulse from
consciousness. It begins with supporting the client, encouraging the client’s own
sensing, feeling, remembering and recognizing what is
occurring in their psycho
sensorium. One follows the client’s felt sense of a symptom, emotion or reaction to
something that has happened, to the area where the client can locate tension, pain,
or constriction, either physically or mentally. Then immediate
ly, one looks for an
internal resource field within the body. For instance, if the client identifies tension in
the chest, one can ask, where in the body is there relaxation? The practitioner then
encourages a pendulation movement which is coordinated with

the client’s breath,
between the inner resource field and the place where the client perceives their
tension, pain or constriction. Because the pendulation is between inner states,
change and a sense of empowerment can occur quite quickly.

There is no n
eed to judge the past. Sensing and acknowledging it brings in a quality
of differentiation; it opens up possibilities that meet and go beyond that which has
happened up until now. When we consciously walk the path together with our client,
the inner landsc
ape is changed by our passing.

Karin Schoeber, psychotherapist licensed in Austria since (1993), Supervisor (1996),
Coach (2001), Trained with Peter Levine since 2004, Licensed Somatic Experiencing
(2009). Teaching faculty of the Advanced International Tr
aining in Systemic
Constellation in Sao Paulo and South American Systemic Constellation Intensive.
Lives and works in Vienna.