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Peter Levine  

Developer of Somatic Experiencing, Received Lifetime Achievement Award from US Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP)

Dr. Peter A. Levine received his PhD in medical biophysics from the University of California in Berkeley and also holds a doctorate in psychology from International University. He has worked in the field of stress and trauma for over 40 years and is the developer of Somatic Experiencing. Peter’s original contribution to the field of Body-Psychotherapy was honored in 2010 when he received the Lifetime Achievement award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP). That same year he also received the honorary Reis Davis Chair in Child Psychiatry for his innovative contribution to therapy for children and adolescents.

Peter has been stress consultant for NASA in the development of the first Space Shuttle. He was a member of the Institute of World Affairs Task Force with “Psychologists for Social Responsibility” and served on the APA initiative for Response to Large Scale Disaster and Ethno-Political Warfare.

Peter is the author of the best selling book Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma — which was published in 24 languages and sold over 250,000 copies — as well as four audio learning series for Sounds True including the book/CD, Healing Trauma: a Pioneering Program in Restoring the Wisdom of Our Bodies and Sexual Healing, Transforming the Sacred Wound. He is the co-author of Trauma through a Child’s Eyes: Awakening the Ordinary Miracle of Healing and Trauma-Proofing Your Kids: A Parents Guide for Instilling Confidence, Joy and Resilience. He recently released with Maggie Phillips the book/CD Freedom from Pain: Discover Your Body's Power to Overcome Physical Pain.

Dr. Levine’s most recent book, his magnum opus, "In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness," is receiving international praise.

Throughout his life, Peter Levine has studied the effects of stress on the human nervous system and body. Beginning in the 1970’s, Peter’s explorations into how animals deal with threat led to the development of a method that is highly effective in dealing with the effects of overwhelm on our nervous system, called Somatic Experiencing (SE). SE is a clinical methodology based upon an appreciation of why animals in the wild are not traumatized by routine threats to their lives, while humans, on the other hand, are readily overwhelmed and often subject to the traumatic symptoms of hyper arousal, shutdown and dysregulation. Fortunately, the very same instincts — and related survival based brain systems that are involved in the formation of trauma symptoms can be enlisted in the transformation and healing of trauma. Therapeutically, this “instinct to heal” and self-regulate is engaged through the awareness of empowering body sensations that contradict those of paralysis and helplessness. These new experiences create a foundation for restored resilience, equilibrium and wholeness.

In 1994 Peter founded the Foundation for Human Enrichment, d/b/a the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, which is committed to preserving and further developing the essence of Peter’s work.

SE has grown from Peter’s original 1972 class of 15 folks meeting at his Berkeley “tree house” to over 9,000 students and practitioners worldwide. Learn more about our trainings.

Peter chairs the Advisory Board to the Board of Directors of the SE Trauma Institute. He presents keynote speeches and SE workshops worldwide, and continues to be actively engaged as an author and researcher furthering the work of SE.

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