Peter A. Levine, PhD

Excellence in Trauma Resolution

  • Evolution of Psychotherapy Trauma PTSD Panel Peter A Levine PhD
  • Evolution of Psychotherapy Trauma PTSD Panel Peter A Levine PhD
  • Peter A Levine PhD with PTSD Client
  • Peter A Levine PhD with PTSD Client
  • Peter A Levine PhD Teaching Trauma PTSD Master Class.jpg
  • Evolution of Psychotherapy Trauma PTSD Panel Peter A Levine PhD
  • Peter A Levine PhD Teaching Trauma PTSD Master Class

Founder of SE

Dr. Peter A. Levine received his PhD in medical biophysics from the University of California in Berkeley and also holds a doctorate in psychology from International University. He has worked in the field of stress and trauma for over 40 years and is the developer of Somatic Experiencing. Peter’s original contribution to the field of Body-Psychotherapy was honored in 2010 when he received the Lifetime Achievement award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP). That same year he also received the honorary Reis Davis Chair in Child Psychiatry for his innovative contribution to therapy for children and adolescents.

Peter has been stress consultant for NASA in the development of the first Space Shuttle. He was a member of the Institute of World Affairs Task Force with “Psychologists for Social Responsibility” and served on the APA initiative for Response to Large Scale Disaster and Ethno-Political Warfare.

Peter is the author of the best selling book Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma — which was published in 24 languages and sold over 250,000 copies — as well as four audio learning series for Sounds True including the book/CD, Healing Trauma: a Pioneering Program in Restoring the Wisdom of Our Bodies and Sexual Healing, Transforming the Sacred Wound. He is the co-author of Trauma through a Child’s Eyes: Awakening the Ordinary Miracle of Healing and Trauma-Proofing Your Kids: A Parents Guide for Instilling Confidence, Joy and Resilience. He recently released with Maggie Phillips the book/CD Freedom from Pain: Discover Your Body's Power to Overcome Physical Pain.

Dr. Levine’s most recent book, his magnum opus, In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, is receiving international praise.

All books listed are available in our store.

Somatic Experiencing: Nature’s Lesson in Healing Trauma
Throughout his life, Peter Levine has studied the effects of stress on the human nervous system and body. Beginning in the 1970’s, Peter’s explorations into how animals deal with threat led to the development of a method that is highly effective in dealing with the effects of overwhelm on our nervous system, called Somatic Experiencing (SE). SE is a clinical methodology based upon an appreciation of why animals in the wild are not traumatized by routine threats to their lives, while humans, on the other hand, are readily overwhelmed and often subject to the traumatic symptoms of hyper arousal, shutdown and dysregulation. Fortunately, the very same instincts — and related survival based brain systems
— that are involved in the formation of trauma symptoms can be enlisted in the transformation and healing of trauma. Therapeutically, this “instinct to heal” and self-regulate is engaged through the awareness of empowering body sensations that contradict those of paralysis and helplessness. These new experiences create a foundation for restored resilience, equilibrium and wholeness.

SE Trauma Institute
In 1994 Peter founded the Foundation for Human Enrichment, d/b/a the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, which is committed to preserving and further developing the essence of Peter’s work.

SE Professional Training
SE has grown from Peter’s original 1972 class of 15 folks meeting at his Berkeley “tree house” to over 9,000 students and practitioners worldwide. Learn more about our trainings.

Current Role
Peter chairs the Advisory Board to the Board of Directors of the SE Trauma Institute. He presents keynote speeches and SE workshops worldwide, and continues to be actively engaged as an author and researcher furthering the work of SE.

Follow Peter Levine on his blog.
Published works

Somatic Experiencing: Using Interoception and Proprioception as Core Elements of Trauma Therapy, Payne, P., Levine, P., & Crane-Godreau, M. (2015). Frontiers in Psychology, Doi: 10.3389 (Fpsyg.2015.00093). (Article)

Freedom from Pain: Discover Your Body's Power to Overcome Physical Pain, with Maggie Phillips; Sounds True. (Book & CD with exercises)

In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, North Atlantic Books. (Book)

Trauma Proofing Your Kids: A Parent's Guide for Instilling Confidence, Joy, and Resilience, with Maggie Kline; North Atlantic Books. (Book)

Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body, Sounds True. (Book & CD with exercises)

Trauma Through a Child's Eyes: Awakening the Ordinary Miracle of Healing, with Maggie Kline; North Atlantic Books. (Book)

Sexual Healing: Transforming the Sacred Wound, Sounds True. (CD)

Healing Trauma: Restoring the Wisdom of the Body, Sounds True. (CD)

Trauma Therapy for Survivors of Torture, Jorgensen and Mathiasen eds.

Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, with Ann Frederick. (Book)

Memory, Trauma, and Healing, Article in Spring, 1997 issue of AHP Journal Perspective and in the Journal of Bio-Synthesis.

Understanding Childhood Trauma, Mothering Magazine. (Article)

The Body As Healer: Transforming Trauma and Anxiety, Unpublished book manuscript.

Revisioning Anxiety and Trauma, in Giving the Body Its Due, (ed. Maxine Sheets Johnstone) S.U.N.Y. Press.

The Substitute Tiger, An Integrative Bio-developmental Approach to Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress.

Chapter on Stress for Psychophysiology, Systems, Processes, and Application, A Handbook, eds. Coles, M., Donchin, E., and Porges, S., Guilford Press.

Chronic Perinatal Stress as a Predisposing Factor in Autism and Childhood Psychosis, a Neurodevelopmental model suggesting strategies in treatment and prophylaxis., In: Symposium on Autism co-sponsored by University du Quebec a Montreal and San Francisco State University

Circle of Damage, Circle of Grace—Stress and Your Children, (Unpublished Manuscript)

Stress, Neurobiology and Behavior. Benchmark series on Human Physiology and Behavior, Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross, Inc. (Submitted for Publication)

Stress and Vegetatherapy, England (Fall and Winter)

Infra-Uterine Environment, Stress and Neurological Development, Journal of Behavioral Neuropsychiatry. (Article)

A Rhythm to Growing: A Comment on the Body Approaches of Reich and Rolf and the Process of Adaptive Growth, in 'Life and Works of Wilhelm Reich', Viking Penguin.

Thesis: Accumulated Stress, Reserve Capacity and Disease, University Microfilm 77-15760, Ann Arbor, Michigan
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with Peter A. Levine, PhD
Peter A. Levine, PhD receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Association of Body Psychotherapy in Concord, California on October 24th, 2010.
In this 5-minute video, founder of Somatic Experiencing®, Dr. Peter Levine discusses how he came to create his powerful approach to trauma healing.
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