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A Somatic Approach to Virtue | Physically Spiritual S3 E8

This episode of Physically Spiritual proposes a body based approach to overcoming vice that is inspired by a process for trauma recovery called Somatic Experiencing.

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Headings

0:30 My Trauma Story

4:00 Dr. Peter Levine’s Findings

9:00 Somatic Experiencing

10:45 9 Steps of Somatic Experiencing

22:00 Trauma First Aid

25:30 A Standard Approach to Virtue

28:00 A Somatic Approach to Virtue


Notes


Dr. Peter Levine - https://www.somaticexperiencing.com/about-peter


Somatic Experiencing - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatic_experiencing


Introduction to Somatic Experiencing - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmJDkzDMllc


Find a SE Practitioner - https://directory.traumahealing.org


9 Steps of SE

  1. Establish an environment of relative safety.

  2. Support initial exploration and acceptance of sensation.

  3. Establish “pendulation” and containment: the innate power of rhythm.

  4. Use titration to create increasing stability, resilience and organization. Titration is about carefully touching into the smallest “drop” of survival-based arousal, and other difficult sensations, to prevent retraumatization.

  5. Provide a corrective experience by supplanting the passive responses of collapse and helplessness with active, empowered, defensive responses.

  6. Separate or “uncouple” the conditioned association of fear and helplessness from the (normally time-limited but now maladaptive) biological immobility response.

  7. Resolve hyperarousal states by gently guiding the “discharge” and redistribution of the vast survival energy mobilized for life-preserving action while freeing that energy to support higher-level brain functioning.

  8. Engage self-regulation to restore “dynamic equilibrium” and relaxed alertness.

  9. Orient to the here and now, contact the environment and reestablish the capacity for social engagement.


Tips for trauma first aid - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UU7eSxcBhpM



Typical program to grow in virtue:

  1. Try Harder - The myth of willpower

  2. Read a book - if the first book didn’t help, chances are the second book will not make much of a difference - Gnosticism

  3. Avoid the near occasion - The illusion of control - We are dependent and vulnerable

  4. Talk to a priest - limited opportunity


A Somatic Approach to grow in Virtue

  1. Grow the capacity to become aware of bodily sensations (Interoception)

  2. Develop skills to change how you feel (Breathing, Movement, Music, etc.)

  3. Relationships (Physical & Emotional Reciprocity)

  4. Communal Rhythms/Synchrony (Play, Chant, Liturgy, etc.)

  5. Safe and appropriate Physical Touch

  6. Take Action - stress hormones are our bodies attempt to equip us to face difficulties

  7. Learn to use this energy for action

  8. Need to be able to return to safety


Support Physically Spiritual by joining the Totus Tuus Community at physicallyspiritual.com

Watch on Youtube or Facebook

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify

Please leave a review, like, follow, and subscribe to help others find the Podcast!

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