An Autobiography of Trauma

In this intimate memoir, renowned developer of Somatic Experiencing Peter A. Levine shares his personal journey to heal his own severe childhood trauma as well as offering profound insights into the evolution of his innovative trauma healing method.

Casting himself as a modern-day Chiron, the wounded healer of Greek mythology, Dr. Levine describes, in graphic detail, the violence of his childhood juxtaposed with specific happy and exuberant memories, which helped him prepare for coming to terms with his horrifying experiences.

He shares his inner experience of being guided through Somatic Experiencing (SE) to illuminate and untangle his traumatic wounds and describes the mysterious and unexpected dreams and visions that have guided him through his life’s work.

Exploring his dream visitations from Albert Einstein in depth, he explains how he came to view Einstein as his personal spirit guide and mentor and how he later discovered his own personal and profound real-life connection to him through his mother.

Describing his breakthroughs in developing Somatic Experiencing, the author details how he helped thousands of others before resolving his own trauma years later with the support of his method. He explains how the SE method is derived from his studies of wild animals in their natural environments, neurobiology, and more than 50 years of clinical observations. He describes his education and career as well as his encounters with noteworthy figures such as somaticists Charlotte Selver and Ida Rolf, ethological zoologist Nikolas Tinbergen, and autism pioneer Mira Rothenberg.

Unveiling the inner story of the man who changed the way psychologists, doctors, and healers understand and treat the wounds of trauma and abuse, this autobiography reveals how anyone suffering from trauma has a valuable story to tell. And by telling our stories, we can catalyze the return of hope, dignity, and wholeness.