Somatic Experiencing® (SE)

Note: The Somatic Experiencing® (SE) program was not responsive to the CEBC's inquiry. The following information was obtained from publicly available sources.

Somatic Experiencing® (SE) has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

About This Program

Target Population: Children and adolescents that have experienced trauma

Brief Description

SE is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders. The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma. The SE approach offers a framework to assess where a person is stuck in the fight, flight, or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states. It provides skills appropriate to a variety of healing professions including mental health, medicine, physical and occupational therapies, bodywork, addiction treatment, first response, education, and others.

Education and Training Resources

Publicly available information indicates there is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is some training available for this program.
See contact info below.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

The following studies were not included in rating Somatic Experiencing® (SE) on the Scientific Rating Scale...

Leitch, M. L. (2007). Somatic experiencing treatment with tsunami survivors in Thailand: Broadening the scope of early intervention. Traumatology, 13(3), 11-20. doi:10.1177/1534765607305439

Note: This study was not used when rating Somatic Experiencing (SE) since it uses at adapted version of SE. This study examines the treatment effects of brief (1 to 2 sessions) SE/Trauma First Aide (TFA), derived from SE, with adult and child survivors of the 2004 tsunami in Thailand. Measures utilized include a demographic form and symptom tracking form. Results indicate that immediately following treatment, 67% of participants had partial to complete improvement in reported symptoms and 95% had complete or partial improvement in observed symptoms. At the 1-year follow-up, 90% of participants had complete or partial improvement in reported symptoms, and 96% had complete or partial improvement in initially observed symptoms. Limitations include nonrandomization of participants, lack of control group, and small sample size.


Crane-Godreau, M., Levine, P., & Payne, P. (2015). Somatic Experiencing: Using interoception and proprioception as core elements of trauma therapy. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 93. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00093

Riordan, J., Blakeslee, A., & Levine, P. (2017). Toddler trauma: Somatic Experiencing®, attachment and the neurophysiology of dyadic completion. International Journal of Neuropsychotherapy, 5. 41-69. doi:10.12744/ijnpt.2017.1.0041-0069

Taylor, P. J., & Saint-Laurent, R. (2017). Group psychotherapy informed by the principles of Somatic Experiencing: Moving beyond trauma to embodied relationship. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, 67(sup1), S171-S181.

Contact Information

Brian Dale
Phone: (720) 306-9254

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: April 2018

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: August 2016