Social Anxiety and Connection

How a Sense of Safety Increases Connection

In this video a Somatic Experiencing patient discusses how building a safe container within herself has increased her desire for connection and has reduced her social anxiety. The patient also discusses how SE has changed her world-view and is bringing more positive experiences to her life.

Substance Abuse

The Influence of Childhood Experiences on Substance Abuse

Ilene discusses how chronic stress in childhood can force an individual to disconnect from self. When this occurs, an individual may turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to feel emotion or disconnect from intense emotional states. Somatic Experiencing can help the individual develop a healthy relationship to self. In doing so, the desire for alcohol tends to quiet and is often replaced with more adaptive behaviors and connection to others.

Lyme Disease

How Somatic Experience Helps to Heal the Body

A patient shares how Somatic Experiencing has supported the process of healing from Lyme disease. Through developing a sense of safety in her body, this patient has gained capacity to manage stress responses when symptomatic.


The Connection Between OCD and Rigidity

Ilene discusses how Somatic Experiencing can help an individual reduce OCD symptoms and rigid behavior by exposing an individual to new experiences in a safe manner.


The Importance of Building Connection and Resources to Heal Depression

Ilene discusses the importance of connection and safety in healing depression and how thinking about safe people, places, and things can change our brain chemistry and reduce depressive symptoms.


How Somatic Experience Can Reduce Anxiety

Ilene explains the importance of bringing a person into the present moment to reduce anxiety. This process allows the individual to begin to build a sense of mastery over their internal experience and move through the anxious energy in a non-threatening manner.

Somatic Experience Patient

How Somatic Experience Changed a Client’s Life

A patient discusses the profound impact Somatic Experiencing has had on her nervous system.

Somatic Experiencing and Parenting

The Value of Attending to Your Nervous System

A patient discusses how Somatic Experiencing has improved her relationship with her children. Through a greater capacity to regulate her own nervous system and reduce anxiety symptoms, she is more capable of attuning to her children’s need for safety.

Being Present

A Greater Capacity to Stay Present Through Somatic Experiencing

A patient shares how the Somatic Experiencing tools of orienting and grounding have helped her reduce anxiety and stay in the present when real or perceived threat occurs.

The Research Project

How Somatic Experiencing in a Group Setting Can Heal Eating Disorders

Ilene Smith and researcher, Sarah Melancon, PhD, discuss their collaboration in developing a Somatic Experiencing group protocol for healing eating disorders and other mental health issues.

Panic Attacks and Selective Mutism

Getting to the Bottom of a Lifelong Issue Through Somatic Experiencing

A patient discusses dual diagnosis and the power of healing through connecting to the body. She shares her challenges with medication and feeling misunderstood throughout the course of a variety of therapeutic treatments.


Trauma impacts you beyond your brain. It gets trapped in your body and you must learn to let it free. In my eBook, I define trauma and share the importance of bringing your body into the healing process through Somatic Experiencing (SE).