Thursday, October 17, 2013

Third Session of Somatic Experiencing®

Having had such a strong physical and emotional release after the second session, T (therapist) took things back a step so that we could explore in a different way what it felt like to be in my body. I clearly remember saying that my right side felt free and spacious, whilst the left side of my body felt tight and taut, with not much space. We spent a great deal of time with me creating my own imagery that there could be butterflies in the right side of my body, they were blue ones, about six to begin with, and they had plenty of space and they were free and happy, whilst in the left side, which was not entirely the left side of my body, but cut from my leg, up through to my left breast and top of head, there were a load of wasps there, and there was very little space for them. We kept going back to the freedom that about 3/4 of my body had compared to the tight space of the wasps in the remaining 1/4 of my body. Gradually I added more blue butterflies to the right side of my body, but they still had plenty of space and were happy. As I was able to focus more on the positive feeling of the right side of my body, so it seemed that the aggressiveness of the wasps calmed down.

I went to sit on the floor with my legs stretched out, and my back against the wall and we continued to embellish on the feelings of the butterflies. It was a happy and relaxing session.

We talked about my body outline and where I could/could not "feel" parts of it on the floor. We used the butterflies to imagine them visiting those areas of numbness, and T asked me if I would consider listening to a CD about 'Freedom From Pain' by Peter Levine. I agreed to do this.

Although I was very interested in the academic part of the CD, and hearing about the theories of both pain and trauma, I had not anticipated my response to some of the exercises. I realized how much more work I had to do about my issues in relation to my own body and touch, let alone other people making too much contact or invading my space. For example, I found just tapping my body far too startling, and another exercise involving standing made me lock into my hypermobile knees and I started to 'spasm' on tectonic waves. It was clear my body was feeling unsafe, I felt very tearful and I had to make the decision to stop the exercises. This does not in anyway negate the usefulness these CDs will have, as I am ready to try to use them, and all the explanations about pain and trauma are excellent. It is just that things have to be done at my pace, which is more important.

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