Somatic Experiencing® Training in Ottawa

The Foundation for Human Enrichment was established in 1997 by Dr. Peter Levine to provide individuals, families, and communities with effective tools for transforming overwhelming traumatic experiences.


Somatic Experiencing® (SE) offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. A short-term, naturalistic approach to the resolution of trauma developed by Dr. Peter Levine, SE is based upon the observation that wild prey animals, though threatened routinely, are rarely traumatized. The most primitive portions of the brain are activated when a person perceives threat. At the same time, certain higher areas in the cortex associated with language, observation and planning are shut down. Animals in the wild utilize innate mechanisms to regulate and discharge the high levels of energy arousal associated with survival behaviours. “Modeling” the animals’ built-in “immunity” to trauma enables people to return to equilibrium in the aftermath of fear, rage, helplessness, loss and other extreme experiences.


Although humans are born with virtually the same regulatory mechanisms as animals, the function of these innate systems is often overridden or inhibited. Our reluctance to surrender to the instinctual prevents the complete discharge of survival energies. The un-discharged energy remains “stuck” in the body and the nervous system. In bringing together the highest cerebral functions of refined awareness with the primitive animal instincts, we are able to develop our own natural ability to rebound after extreme events. Transforming trauma in this way allows us to become more fully human.

Training Cost 

The cost per training weekend is $825.00+tax ($932.25) for early bird rates or $875.00 ($988.75) for each module.   There are three modules for the Beginning level of the training and three modules for Intermediate.  There are an additional two modules for the Advanced level of the training.


A limited number of scholarships are offered for this training. These scholarships will be given to individuals based on both financial need and the work they will be doing in the community with the teachings offered through SE. For more information, click here.  

Ottawa Faculty 

The Organizer of Ottawa's SE training program is Lauren Scarsella. She is who you will connect with when you submit questions through this website, and she responds to the seottawatraining@gmail.com account. During the training sessions, Lauren is an assistant who supports students in their learning. 

Dea Parsanishi is new to SE teaching in Ottawa this year. Dea works and lives in Vancouver Island, and we are lucky to have her teaching with us for 2019. She will teach all three levels of the Somatic Experiencing training. 

To learn more about Ottawa's Somatic Experiencing faculty and team, please visit here.



Each module of Somatic Experiencing training will have multiple courses that make up the full number of seminar hours needed to complete the module. Students may go at their own pace, but the program is designed so that each group of students who starts in Beginning I together will be able to finish together in Advanced II. The details of each level are shown in the table below. 

Training Level




Total (3 years)

Seminar Hours

72 credit hours

72 credit hours

72 credit hours

216 credit hours

Personal SE Sessions

4 hours

4 hours

4 hours

Individual or Group Case Consult

4 hours

6 hours

8 hours

SE trainings are best experienced in-person. However, students may choose to take one module (24 credit hours) online via video training if it is necessary. Students will not receive their certificate of completion if they have taken more than one module through the video training format. 

Presently, each module is offered only in English. If there is enough interest, we will have a French translator on site. Visit the FAQ for more information on French translation. 

Admission Requirements


The SE Professional Training is a continuing education certificate program designed to enhance the skills of professionals working with traumatized or stressed individuals. To be considered for admission, applicants must be professionals with an active practice so that the techniques learned in the training can be immediately applied and developed throughout the course of the program. Exceptions may be granted to graduate students participating in an internship program. Applications are approved on a case-by-case basis. 

This program is designed to train professionals in working more effectively with client trauma. It is not suitable for those solely seeking a personal-growth experience or for those who do not have an active professional practice. Acceptance into the SE Professional Training does not ensure that all SE methods will be appropriate for inclusion in your professional practice. Training participants are responsible for operating within their professional scope of practice and for abiding by state and federal laws. The Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute reserves the right to approve or deny any application, and/or accept or reject the participation of any person in its sole discretion and in accordance with its policies and the law. 

Professionals who may qualify for the SE Professional Training program include:


Psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, social workers, counsellors  marriage and family therapists, expressive arts therapists, etc. 


Medical doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, emergency medical workers, surgeons, obstetricians, midwives, acupuncturists, naturopathic doctors, etc.


Massage therapists, Rolfers®, Craniosacral and Polarity therapists, Feldenkrain practitioners, yoga therapists, etc.

Other Professionals & Practitioners

First responders, crisis centre staff, educators, mediators, clergy, chaplains, etc.

Interested in learning SE but don't see your profession listed?