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Trauma: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness with Peter Levine, Ph.D.

  • Learn from the Originator and Developer of Somatic Experiencing®
  • Levine’s Nine Principles in Successful Trauma Healing
  • Peter Speaks on the Full Scope of his Life’s Work & Discovery

Join international trauma expert and author, Peter A. Levine, Ph.D., to learn how sensation-based (as opposed to emotional or rational) treatment is the key inroad into the trauma, and how to slowly uncouple fear from the natural immobility state. He will discuss his nine principles in successful trauma healing, all told through his own successful renegotiation of a personal traumatic event.

Representing the full scope of his life’s work and discovery, Dr. Levine will discuss the evolutionary underpinnings of trauma. The day will include an in-depth review of how trauma is related to the ethnological concept of tonic immobility, the importance of the so-called “primitive” Vagus system, and how its connections through the viscera and body are a key ally in trauma therapy.



Product Details
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Peter Levine, Ph.D.
5 Hours 18 Minutes
Oct 09, 2015
PESI, Inc.
Product Code:
Media Type:
DVD - Also available: Digital Recordings | DVD



This online program is worth 5.0 hours CPD.



Peter Levine, Ph.D.'s Profile

Peter Levine, Ph.D. Related seminars and products: 18

Dr. Peter Levine holds doctorates in both medical biophysics and psychology. He is the developer of Somatic Experiencing® (SE), a naturalistic body-awareness approach to healing trauma, which he teaches all over the globe. Dr. Levine is also the founder of the Foundation for Human Enrichment and was a stress consultant for NASA during the development of the space shuttle.

An accomplished author, Dr. Levine penned Healing Trauma, Sexual Healing and the bestselling book, Waking the Tiger. He also co-authored with Maggie Kline Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes and Trauma-Proofing Your Kids. His latest book, In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, is a testament to his lifelong investigation into the connection between evolutionary biology, neuroscience, animal behavior, and more than 40 years of clinical experience in the healing of trauma.

Dr. Levine was honored in 2010 with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP) and is a Senior Fellow at Meadows Behavioral Healthcare.


Speaker Disclosure:

Financial: Peter Levine is the Developer of Somatic Experiencing®. He is the founder and Senior Advisor to the Foundation for Human Enrichment; and Senior Advisor to The Meadows Addiction Treatment Center. Dr. Levine receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Peter Levine is a member of the American Psychological Association; Humanistic Psychological Association; and International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.


  1. Articulate the four major developmental stages that increase vulnerability to trauma and how to recognize them in your clients.
  2. Determine the naturalistic mechanics of trauma and survival responses of flight, fight, freeze and collapse as it relates to clinical treatment.
  3. Discover the evolutionary underpinnings of trauma and the Polyvagal theory and their clinical implications.
  4. Demonstrate the importance of “Bottom-up” processing versus “Top Down” processing to improve treatment outcomes.
  5. Summarize the process of how overwhelming stress leads to somatic and emotional syndromes in clients.
  6. Incorporate Dr. Levine’s simple containment tools in order to more effectively engage your client in trauma therapy.


  1. Child Development: The Signs of Trauma in Each Developmental Period:
    1. Pre-Natal
      1. Hormonal interactions between mother and child
      2. Birth Stress
    2. Year One
      1. Safety, affection and containment
      2. Proprioceptive development
    3. The Dopamine System
      1. The space to explore one’s effect on the world
      2. The formation of a self that is different from Mom and Dad
      3. Testing boundaries
    4. Age 3-5
      1. The Biology and balance of shame
      2. The importance of shame in society
      3. The signs of overshaming
      4. The signs of undershaming
    5. The initial forays into sexuality
      1. The importance of flirting
      2. How these sames stages replay themselves out in later life
  2. The Naturalistic Mechanisms of Trauma
    1. Understanding our primary survival tactics and how they play out in the body: Flight, fight, freeze and collapse
    2. 500 million years of evolution: Our Polyvagal underpinnings
      1. How the Dorsal Vagal System is related to shutdown and collapse
      2. Fight or flight: Sympathetic/adrenal
      3. System mobilization, Returning to the our Mammalian birthright: The Ventral vagal system and social engagement
    3. How we get “stuck”
      1. Tonic immobility - The fallback to freeze
      2. Freeze couples with Fear
        1. Dissociation
        2. Bracing and terror
        3. Euphoric dissociaton
      3. Collapse
    4. Somatic and emotional - syndromes and complexes
      1. Emotional - anxiety, depression
      2. Somatic - chronic pain, fibromyalgia
      3. Autonomic - migraines, irritable bowel
  3. Resolving Traumatic Reactions
    1. The importance of “Bottom-Up” processing
      1. The Paul MacLean’s Triune Brain- In an Unspoken Voice
    2. Somatic Experiencing©
      1. Renegotiation vs. Reliving.
        1. Restoration of self-regulation
        2. Trauma isn’t about the event, but the body’s inability to process and integrate the nervous system charge
        3. The importance of developing a felt sense
    3. The nine basic stages of trauma treatment
      1. Containment of strong sensation and emotion
      2. Pendulation - The dual opposites of sensation
      3. Titration - going gradually
      4. Completion
        1. Renegotiation of active for passive responses
      5. Allow things to settle: Self-Paced termination
    4. Simple exercises that you can use in your practice
  4. Spirituality and Trauma
    1. Trauma as one of the 4 avenues to enlightment
      1. Lessons from the Kundalini
      2. A feeling of “okayness”, wholeness and trust in the world
        1. And other side effects of effective trauma treatment
      3. The importance of maintaining balance in one’s life

Target Audience

Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Therapists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Addiction Counselors, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Case Managers, Nurses, School Psychologists, Other Helping Professionals



Overall:      3.9

Total Reviews: 1182


Louise N

"Excellent course and really enjoyed the demonstrations "

James W

"Thank you. I was most impressed and will like to continue to study this topic"

Pamela F

"This was an extremely valuable training for me!"

Maurice Keith M

"I love you PESI. Keep up all the good work and excellent course offerings!"

Tanya C

"Wonderful presentation. I use Theraplay daily with my trauma hildren, so at the end when he mentioned the Theraplay Institute, it made my heart happy"

Donyale B

"Awesome training! "

Christilou S

"Excellent. I learned so much, thank you!"

Lillian S

"Amazing conceptualization of trauma. The breakthroughs that can be accomplished and sometimes so quickly is astounding. I absolutely loved it. I just would like to learn more about how to effectively use these techniques."

Laura T

"This was perhaps the most helpful workshop I have attended in my 20 years of practice."

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