Somatic Experiencing Resilience Exercises for Kids & Adults

I was listening to a really helpful interview with Peter Levine PhD, the founder of Somatic Experiencing (a neurobiological approach to healing trauma), and Dr. Maggie Kline, a Senior Somatic Experiencing Faculty Member, a Psychotherapist and Retired School Psychologist, that offers tools that caregivers and Somatic Experiencing Practitioners can use during these times, particularly with children. This excellent 45 min video interview can be accessed here.

In short, it shares that kids can often being frightened, confused or sad during these times because they don’t know what’s going on, especially when they pick up on the anxiety and fear of their parents. It’s important for adults to ground and balance so that our challenging emotions aren’t passed onto kids. It’s also good to let the kids know that they will be protected, kept safe, and can share their thoughts or fears with parents whenever they feel it. (Note that when adults experience external threat, they fight, flight or collapse in overwhelm; children can’t fight or flight and respond to threat by attaching to parents to create safety).

Peter Levine suggests various activities to help kids such as: making up stories together, singing, dancing, cooking, exercising and walking outside in nature whenever possible. Also practicing deep listening, and laughing together, which kid’s love and helps them to return to their natural creativity, confidence and resilience.

Here are a few Somatic Experiencing exercises from Peter Levine in an 8 min video that can help adults (and kids) to reset our nervous systems so that we feel less trapped and/or paralyzed by fear or panic at this time. Click here to access them.

There are some additional exercises in a 5 min video, also from Peter Levine, and especially for kids, that you can access here.

Keep well and finding ways to nourish yourself and thrive everyday!