Over the last year or so I have noticed more and more Feldenkrais practitioners writing and speaking about their experiences with Peter Levine’s “Somatic Experiencing,” often referred to as “SE” for short. I personally know about a dozen Feldenkrais practitioners who have either taken his training or are in one now.
The video below seems like a reasonable introduction to his work. Though I very much like the video by Dr. Levine, I wish it had a demonstration of Somatic Experiencing with a client, rather than focusing so much on explanations. If you really want to convince someone, show them a demonstration of a change – see it in action. Having that, explanations become more meaningful and believable.
Dr. Levine mentions the word “energy” many times in the video below as in “trauma as an energetic response.” Some of you may be familiar with Moshe’s ideas on “energy” from The Potent Self, Introduction page XIII, (First Edition):
“The energy analogy does not hold good for emotional urges because there is no question of energy here, but of forms of action. Aggression is a form of behavior, not an energy. There is no such thing as dammed-up aggression that increases in pressure until the dam breaks down and aggression flows freely. There is no screen to aggression that contains it and allows its accumulation and there is nothing in the nervous system or in any other part of a man where aggression can accumulate.
In the same way, there can be no question of the sublimation of libidinal energy, because there is no accumulation of libido in the form of energy. The sexual glands do not continue to be active, and sperm is not continually formed if there is no sexual outlet. There is a self-regulating mechanism at work here, as in all glandular secretion. There is probably less libidinal tension after a year of abstention than after a fortnight. (There is nothing in long-term sexual abstention that cannot be attended to in a few days or weeks depending on the health and age of the individual.)”
I do not think that Dr. Levine is speaking to “energy” in the way that Moshe is writing about. Rather, he is using the word “energy to describe the effects of trauma. That is, as a form of compulsive inhibition that inhibits aspects of a persons functioning and limits the development of forms of behavior.
Though I could be wrong.
Perhaps those of you who do both Feldenkrais and Somatic Experiencing have an opinion?