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Therapist Profile

» Provider Directory » Find a Therapist » California » Agoura Hills Therapists » Therapist Profile

Laya Tamar, LCSW, SEP

Somatic Experiencing Description

Somatic Experiencing (SE), developed by Dr. Peter Levine, is a therapeutic approach to help people live with optimal health and well-being. The focus of the work is the resolution and healing of painful situations or patterns of physiological activation in the body. SE utilizes awareness of body sensation to help people renegotiate and heal, rather than re-live or re-enact painful or traumatic events. SE breaks down experience into small, incremental steps (titration) rather than evoking catharsis, which can overwhelm the nervous system. Very often this process helps people reduce stress and return to a sense of regulation and mastery in their lives. SE will support you in learning how to attend to uncomfortable sensations in your body and gently unwind them through your conscious attention. SE is particularly useful in managing stress because so many of the symptoms are physiological. If you would like to read more about SE, you can visit the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute's website at or read In an Unspoken Voice by Dr. Peter Levine.

Benefits and Risks of SE: SE may offer you many benefits such as an increase in your ability to self-soothe, feel resilient and empowered. However, there may also be risks as with any treatment that attends to painful or traumatic events. Although SE is designed to help you access your strengths and sense of support as you work with manageable amounts of discomfort, you may experience challenging feelings, images or thoughts. Such reactions are not uncommon and can be attended to in the course of our work together. Furthermore, as with any stress reduction treatment, there can be no guarantee that you will reach your goals. That said, many people report that SE has helped them tremendously and has created positive changes in their lives. Learning how to reorganize "body memory" is often vital to learning how to relax and calm your nervous system.

SE Session Format: SE sessions are generally done seated in a chair or couch, or lying on a massage table, depending on your preference and what may be clinically indicated. You will be asked to share an impression of the sensations you feel in your body, such as tightness, heat, shakiness, expansion, relaxation, etc. I will teach you ways to track or follow these sensations with your awareness, and come to a place of balance and self-regulation.

SE Touch Work:

SE is NOT a form of massage. I may offer you touch support for the following purposes: grounding, containment, support, mobilization, awareness and resiliency building. You will always be asked before being touched. You have the right and my full support to decline the touch intervention. Furthermore, I request that if you would like to touch me, that you also ask me first. This agreement provides us with clear boundaries and gives us the opportunity to explore the therapeutic meaning of the touch work, which allows you to receive its fullest benefit. If you do not feel comfortable with touch, or if I do not feel that it is clinically indicated, the session will not include touch work.


Laya Tamar, LCSW, SEP, Agoura Hills

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Agoura Hills, CA 91301

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Somatic Experiencing Description

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Last Modified: 7/10/2022  

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