What Does a Slinky Have to do with Trauma?

What if the traumatic event wasn’t the cause of trauma? It’s time to rethink trauma by looking to the body’s memory of the event, not the mind’s interpretation of the story. In this short video, Peter Levine explains how the body holds the energy of trauma and why we can’t begin to process the emotional suffering until we first resolve trauma on the physiological level.

One of the conundrums in trauma therapy is that as therapists, we are trained and usually very good at being empathic. And for many of our clients, we see great success with this.

But what do we do when our clients struggling with trauma and classic symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, chronic pain and stiffness don’t respond to kindness and soothing?

In this short video, Peter Levine, Ph.D., explains how the body holds the energy of trauma and why we can’t begin to process the emotional suffering until we first resolve trauma on the physiological level.


Peter A. Levine, Ph.D., holds doctorates in both medical biophysics and psychology. The developer of Somatic Experiencing®, a body-awareness approach to healing trauma, and founder of the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, which conducts trainings in this work around the world. Levine’s original contribution to the field of Body-Psychotherapy was honored in 2010 when he received the Life Time Achievement award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP).


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