Being Well Podcast: Dr. Peter Levine: Healing After Trauma
April 29, 2024

Somatic psychology legend Dr. Peter Levine joins Dr. Rick and Forrest on this episode of the Being Well Podcast to explore how we can use body-based approaches to recover from traumatic experiences. Peter uses his personal history with trauma to illustrate the practices he’s taught to thousands of people through his work. They discuss the importance of resourcing experiences, creating safety, developing interoception, abandonment wounds, bringing a diverse perspective to somatic work, and working with shame. 

As a warning, this episode includes a description of sexual assault.

About our Guest: Dr. Peter Levine is the creator of Somatic Experiencing and the Founder and President of the Ergos Institute for Somatic Education. He’s taught at a number of universities, has received Lifetime Achievement awards from numerous organizations, and is the best-selling author of several books, including Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma, and his most recent book An Autobiography of Trauma: A Healing Journey.

You can watch this episode on YouTube.

Key Topics:

  • 0:00: Introduction
  • 2:15: Peter’s reflections on his new book
  • 6:40: Themes connecting the personal and professional for Peter
  • 10:15: Physicalization, pendulation, and decontextualization of trauma
  • 16:15: Presence with others, and moving gently into shame to move through it
  • 20:55: The fundamental view that we our innately healthy, and completing the arc
  • 23:05: When the prompt “feel it in your body” doesn’t work
  • 28:15: Advice for when you don’t have access to therapy or a SEP practitioner
  • 30:35: Tenderness
  • 34:30: Anchoring in the here and now when accessing past memories
  • 39:35: Conceiving of yourself as a source of safety
  • 43:30: Generating your own internal wellbeing
  • 46:20: Acknowledging the reality of your history, patience, and completion
  • 49:45: Living by dying
  • 52:15: Recap

Offer from Dr. Rick: If you’d like to improve your self-worth, check out Rick’s new 4-hour, live online workshop. You’ll learn methods and practices that can actually change your brain and your habits, so you start nurturing your sense of worth and belonging. Our listeners can get 20% off with coupon code BeingWell20:

Forrest is now writing on Substack, check out his work there.

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Join Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson every week on the Being Well Podcast for lively and thought-provoking conversation and practical tips for being happier, building inner strengths, and getting the most out of life.

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