Somatic Experiencing® for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder


Somatic Experiencing® for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

A Randomized Controlled Outcome

Study Danny Brom, Yaffa Stokar, Cathy Lawi, Vered Nuriel-Porat, Yuval Ziv, Karen Lerner, and Gina Ross


This study presents the first known randomized controlled study evaluating the effectiveness of somatic experiencing® (SE), an integrative body-focused therapy for treating people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There were 63 participants meeting DSM-IV-TR full criteria for PTSD included. Baseline clinical interviews and self-report measures were completed by all participants, who were then randomly assigned to study (n = 33) or waitlist (n = 30) groups. Study participants began 15 weekly Somatic Experiencing® sessions, whereas waitlist participants waited the same period, after which the second evaluation was conducted. All participants were evaluated a third time after an additional 15 weeks, during which time the waitlist group received Somatic Experiencing® therapy. Pretreatment evaluation showed no significant differences between groups. Mixed model linear regression analysis showed significant intervention effects for posttraumatic symptoms severity (Cohen’s d = 0.94 to 1.26) and depression (Cohen’s d = 0.7 to 1.08) both pre-post and pre-follow-up. This randomized controlled study of Somatic Experiencing® shows positive results indicating Somatic Experiencing® may be an effective therapy method for PTSD. Further research is needed to understand who shall benefit most from this treatment modality.