Somatic Experiencing® 

Professional Training

Curriculum and Timeline

The Somatic Experiencing® (“SE™”) Professional Training curriculum is delivered through a combination of lecture, demonstration, and guided practice sessions with other students. Course material is taught in 8 training modules of 4 to 6 days in length, spaced out over 2½ to 3 years. Training modules must be taken in sequence. In exceptional cases, where a student is unable to attend one of the live training modules, we offer supplemental video training modules for our Beginning and Intermediate classes so that students may continue with their local training group.

Training Curriculum

Each module of Somatic Experiencing training is held over multiple days that make up the full number of seminar hours needed to complete the module. Students may go at their own pace, but the program is designed so that each group of students who starts in Beginning I together will be able to finish together in Advanced II. The details and requirements of each level are shown below:

Beginning (Year 1)

Seminar hours – 24 each module/72 for the level

Personal SE Sessions – 4 hours

Individual or Group Case Consults – 4 hours

SE training log

Intermediate (Year 2)

Seminar hours – 24 each module/72 for the level

Personal SE Sessions – 4 hours

Individual or Group Case Consults – 6 hours

SE training log

Advanced (Year 3)

Seminar hours – 36 each module/72 for the level

Personal SE Sessions – 4 hours

Individual or Group Case Consults – 8 hours

Total (3 years) 216 credit hours

Beginning Level

Develop foundational skills in the SE™ biophysiological model for the resolution of trauma. Typically consists of three 4-day live training modules, spaced 2 to 8 months apart.


  • Analyze the physiology of traumatic stress and its effect on the autonomic nervous system (ANS)
  • Practice the fundamental SE™ method of tracking sensation to access responses in the ANS
  • Assess the neurophysiology of each aspect of the threat response: defensive orientation, fight/flight/freeze, deactivation and completion, and exploratory orienting
  • Develop skill in working with the SE™ model of tracking sensation to support completion of the threat-response cycle and incomplete survival responses
  • Demonstrate how to “titrate” (modulate) the SE™ trauma-renegotiation process to ensure healthy integration of experience
  • Begin to integrate Porges’ Polyvagal Theory of ANS function
  • Explain the SE™ model of SIBAM (Sensation, Image, Behavior, Affect, Meaning) and its significance in trauma
  • Explore coupling dynamics—the over- and under-association of the elements of SIBAM and elements of physiological responses to traumatically-stressing experiences
  • Support clients in re-establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries
  • Identify, normalize, and stabilize traumatic reactions
  • Acquire brief intervention skills that provide long-term solutions to acute and chronic symptoms of trauma
  • Explore the integration of SE™ into ongoing professional practice
  • Explore the appropriate use of touch in the context of SE™

Intermediate Level

Assess the different categories of trauma as addressed in the SE™ model. Identify the primary characteristics and hallmarks of each category of trauma, as well as specific approaches and interventions for working with each category effectively. Typically consists of three 4-day live training modules, spaced 2 to 8 months apart.


  • Global High Intensity Activation (GHIA): pre- and peri-natal trauma, early trauma, anesthesia, suffocation, choking, drowning
  • High Impact/Failure of Physical Defense: falls, traumatic brain injury, motor vehicle accidents, and other high-impact accidents
  • Inescapable Attack: assault, animal attack, rape or sexual abuse, inhibited escape
  • Physical Injury: surgery, poison, burns, physical injury due to accident
  • Natural and Man-Made Disasters, Horror: natural disasters (e.g. earthquake, fires, etc.), war, terrorism, torture, ritual abuse, horror (e.g. witnessing abuse, causing harm to another)
  • Emotional Trauma: severe neglect, severe loss, ongoing abuse

Advanced Level

Assess how to work with complex trauma and syndromes. Expand on the use of touch in SE™ practice. Typically consists of two 6-day live training modules, spaced 4 to 6 months apart.


  • Explain the importance of stabilization when working with complex trauma
  • Explore the SE™ concept of “coherence” in working with complex trauma
  • Refine touch skills for supporting containment and coherence
  • Explain the interrelationship between dysregulation of the ANS and the SE™ model of syndromes (non-reciprocal relationship between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems)
  • Analyze the Polyvagal Theory as it relates to working with syndromes
  • Refine the necessary SE™ skills of “titration” and “pendulation” when working with highly sensitive and syndromal clients
  • Apply the SE™ model for working with the eyes
  • Develop SE™ touch-based skills for working with different categories of trauma
  • Explain how SE™ uses joints, body diaphragms, and the viscera to access ANS responses and to support completion of incomplete survival responses
  • Explore scope-of-practice issues relating to the integration of SE™ and SE™ touch into professional practice