3 september 2021

European Journal of Psychotraumatology

Marie Kuhfuß, Tobias Maldei, Andreas Hetmanek & Nicola Baumann



Background: The body-oriented therapeutic approach Somatic Experiencing® (SE) treats post-traumatic symptoms by changing the interoceptive and proprioceptive sensations associated with the traumatic experience. Filling a gap in the landscape of trauma treatments, SE has attracted growing interest in research and therapeutic practice, recently.

Objective: To date, there is no literature review of the effectiveness and key factors of SE. This review aims to summarize initial findings on the effectiveness of SE and to outline method-specific key factors of SE.

Method: To gain a first overview of the literature, we conducted a scoping review including studies until 13 August 2020. We identified 83 articles of which 16 fit inclusion criteria and were systematically analysed.

Results: Findings provide preliminary evidence for positive effects of SE on PTSD-related symptoms. Moreover, initial evidence suggests that SE has a positive impact on affective and somatic symptoms and measures of well-being in both traumatized and non-traumatized samples. Practitioners and clients identified resource-orientation and use of touch as method-specific key factors of SE. Yet, an overall studies quality assessment as well as a Cochrane analysis of risk of bias indicate that the overall study quality is mixed.

Conclusions: The results concerning effectiveness and method-specific key factors of SE are promising; yet, require more support from unbiased RCT-research. Future research should focus on filling this gap.

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Alle European Journal of Psychotraumatology
Het European Journal of Psychotraumatology (EJPT) is een peer-reviewed, interdisciplinair wetenschappelijk tijdschrift dat deel uitmaakt van de European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS).    Het EJPT heeft als doel om wetenschappers, behandelaren en experts te betrekken bij de belangrijkste vraagstukken rond stress en trauma, waaronder individuele gebeurtenissen, herhaalde of chronische trauma's, grootschalige rampen en geweld.