Psychiatry & Psychotherapy
Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Eating Disorders
San Pedro and Long Beach California

Psychiatry & Psychotherapy
Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Eating Disorders San Pedro and Long Beach California

(310) 957-2099
Call Us Today
Accepting Most Insurances

What is somatic experiencing therapy (SE)?

Somatic Experiencing (SE) was developed by Peter A. Levine, PhD to address the effects of trauma.  He observed prey animals in the wild, whose lives were routinely threatened and they were able to recover readily by physically releasing the energy they accumulated during the stressful events.  Humans, on the other hand, may often override these natural ways of regulating the nervous system with feelings of shame, pervasive thoughts, judgements or fears. When a person encounters a traumatic situation, they may either fight back, get away or not act on their urges.  Experts say that it’s in notacting, or not being able to act, that an emotional “stuckness” can occur.  According to SE, the traumatic event isn’t what caused the trauma, it is the overwhelmed response to the perceived threat that is causing an unbalanced nervous system.  The aim is to help access the body memory of the event, not the story.  SE is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and stress disorders.

How will somatic experiencing therapy help me?

During SE therapy, the client may describe the traumatic experience or just think of it, then the therapist will have them describe bodily senses or mental images that may come up, either with eyes open or closed.  The therapist will guide the patient through somatic experience tasks that may help release stored memories that have previously been shut down at various levels within the nervous system.  Clients are educated about how the body regulates stress and learn to track the related physical sensations, feelings, thoughts and images that can arise from traumatic memories.  Somatic Experiencing attempts to promote awareness and release of physical tension that can remain in the body as part of the aftermath of trauma.

Somatic Experiencing is a mindfulness approach to therapy, supporting the body and mind in a holistic perspective. The therapy can bring more clarity and a general ease to the body, it can help one stay grounded during states of challenging activity, including highly stressful states from past traumatic experiences.


Meet Our Specialty Trained Somatic Experiencing Psychotherapist

Starr Harrison, R.N., L.M.F.T.

Andrew Warren, ASW, Psychotherapist at Recovery NOW just made it across the monkey bars.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The article below featured in The Atlantic revisits the benefits of play as an important part of a child’s development; assisting in areas of memory, cognition, social skills, and maybe even mental health. Although we understand that play does pay, it appears that children are playing less than years before and it could be related to our cultural fixation that our kiddos get into Stanford. Take the math book out of Juliana’s hand for a moment and let her know the top of the jungle gym has just suddenly transformed into the mast of her pirate ship.


Source: Pexels

Andrew Warren, ASW, Psychotherapist at Recovery NOW is getting his steps.

Most of us want to increase our physical activity. Some of us are equipped to do super lunges while shoulder pressing a Buick Skylark over our heads but for those of us that prefer less vigorous activity, walking works just fine. Below is a link to an article from the Mayo Clinic that features the benefits of walking as well as some strategies to make those walks more effective.

Source: Unsplash

Andrew Warren, ASW, Psychotherapist at Recovery NOW would like to help to meet you in the resilient zone

We’ve all been stressed and anxious (high zone), other times we are detached and numb (low zone). The Community Resiliency Model™ refers to the middle area between those highs and lows as the “Resilient Zone.” The “Resilient Zone” is the middle place where we experience calmness but we are able to be alert and attune to the world around us. Below is an image featuring 10 strategies that you could use if you begin to experience the high or low zones and you’d like to get back to the “Resilient Zone.”


Help Now! Activities Poster


Andrew Warren, ASW, Psychotherapist at Recovery NOW practices gratitude…most of the time…okay, sometimes.

We’ve probably all heard a coworker, friend, or family member attribute their new found peace to the practice of gratitude. Maybe at times we are even able to do it ourselves. The article below shares the benefits associated with the principle of gratitude.

Free stock photo of wood, love, art, heart

Source: Pexels

Andrew Warren, ASW, Psychotherapist at Recovery NOW has to mindfully practice gratitude.

“Mom and Dad were so much tougher on me.” We’ve heard this before or maybe we even said it. Is it true? Maybe, but probably not. The link below is a Freakonomics Radio podcast featuring psychologists Thomas Gilovich and Shai Davidai. They discuss our general tendency to think that we have it harder than others; our bias to focus on our barriers rather than our advantages. Take a listen.

Why Is My Life So Hard?

Andrew Warren, ASW, Psychotherapist at Recovery NOW understands that we all need to slow down.

Our sympathetic nervous system activates our “fight or flight” response in stressful situations; it can be activated by day-to-day stress. Think of it as putting your foot on the gas. Now, think of our parasympathetic nervous system as the brake. The article linked below provides tips on how we can press the brake, especially if our foot has been on the gas for too long and too often.

Man Wearing Blue Long Sleeve Shirt Lying on Ground during Daytime

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Andrew Warren, ASW, Psychotherapist at Recovery NOW understands that you need to get away sometimes.

We have given ourselves plenty of reasons to not make travel plans. The article linked below gives us 5 reasons to squash the naysayer in our head and make that trip a reality.

Free stock photo of flight, flying, aerial, plane

Source: Pexels


Andrew Warren ASW, Psychotherapist at Recovery NOW wishes you peaceful Mindfulness Monday.

Many of us need the mental marker of a holiday to give ourselves permission to slow everything down. Memorial Day is a holiday that can elicit perspective and gratitude especially when we think of the meaning of the holiday. Take a moment to think about Memorial Day and to remind yourself what you are grateful for.

Silhouette Of People Walking

Source: Pexels

Andrew Warren, ASW, Psychotherapist at Recovery NOW wishes you a Mindful Monday

It’s not easy but take a breath and try to be present in the moment that is right in front of you.

Woman With Brown Baby Carrier And Little Kid In White Jacket