Researchers have shown that survivors of accidents, disaster, and childhood trauma often en endure lifelong symptoms ranging from anxiety and depression to unexplained physical pain, fatigue, illness, and harmful "acting out" behaviors. Today, professionals and clients in both the bodywork and the psychotherapeutic fields nationwide are turning to Peter A. Levine's breakthrough Somatic Experiencing® methods to actively overcome these challenges. In Healing Trauma, Dr. Levine gives you the personal how-to guide for using the theory he first introduced in his highly acclaimed work Waking the Tiger. Join him to discover: how to develop body awareness to "renegotiate" and heal traumas by "revisiting" them rather than reliving them; emergency "first-aid" measures for times of distress; and nature's lessons for uncovering the physiological roots of your emotions." Trauma is a fact of life," teaches Peter Levine, "but it doesn't have to be a life sentence." Now, with one fully integrated self-healing tool, he shares his essential methods to address unexplained symptoms of trauma at their source—the body—to return us to the natural state in which we are meant to live in. Contents Introduction: A Tiger Shows the Way Chapter One: What is Trauma? Chapter Two: The Causes and Symptoms of Trauma Chapter Three: How Trauma Affects the Body Chapter Four: Twelve-Phase Healing Trauma Program: A Guide to the Audio Exercises Chapter Five: Sexual Trauma: Sexual Trauma: Healing the Sacred Wound Chapter Six: Spirituality and Trauma: Pathway to Awakening Helpful Tips and Techniques for Preventing Trauma Additional Resources About the Author About Sounds True Excerpt Trauma is the most avoided, ignored, denied, misunderstood, and untreated cause of human suffering. When I use the word trauma, I am talking here about the often debilitating symptoms that many people suffer from in the aftermath of perceived life-threatening or overwhelming experiences. Recently, trauma has been used as a buzzword to replace everyday stress, as in, “I had a traumatic day at work.” However, this use is completely misleading. While it is true that all traumatic events are stressful, all stressful events are not traumatic. Unique to Each Individual When it comes to trauma, no two people are exactly alike. What proves harmful over the long term to one person may be exhilarating to another. There are many factors involved in the wide range of response to threat. These responses depend upon genetic make-up, an individual’s history of trauma, even his or her family dynamics. It is vital that we appreciate these differences. Simply knowing that certain kinds of early childhood experiences can severely diminish our ability to cope and be present in the world may elicit compassion and support rather than harsh judgment, both for ourselves and for others. Perhaps the most important thing I have learned about trauma is that people, especially children, can be overwhelmed by what we usually think of as common everyday events. Until recently, our understanding of trauma was limited to “shell-shocked” soldiers who have been devastated by war, victims of severe abuse or violence, and those who have suffered catastrophic accidents and injuries. This narrow view could not be further from the truth. The fact is that, over time, a series of seemingly minor mishaps can have a damaging effect on a person. Trauma does not have to stem from a major catastrophe. Some common triggering events include: • Automobile accidents (even fender benders) • Routine invasive medical procedures • Loss of loved ones • Natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes Even falling off a bicycle can be overwhelming to a child under certain circumstances. We will discuss those circumstances later. For now, I will simply say that almost all of us have experienced some form of trauma, either directly or indirectly.