Pendulation: A Tool for Healing

by | Oct 31, 2023 | Healing Trauma

On this week’s podcast, someone asked about how we heal and what makes it so difficult and challenging.

One helpful practice that I referred to, was that of pendulation – a technique I learned during my training in Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing trauma healing program.

Peter Levine explains, “In renegotiating trauma we utilize “pendulation,” the shifting of body sensations or emotions between those of expansion and those of contraction. This ebb and flow allows the polarities to gradually be integrated. It is the holding together of these polarities that facilitates deep integration and often an “alchemical,” transformation.”

Much like a swinging pendulum, this movement in and out of expansion and contraction can provide a shorter and shorter period of dysregulation while allowing our nervous systems to rest and re-regulate.

Interested in hearing more?  Check out the full podcast:  The Balancing Act:  Empathy, Boundaries and Self-Compassion in Relationships.

Want to skip to a particular section? Here are the show notes:
[2:32] How do I give empathy when I’m not feeling it?
[6:30] Old dynamics come up when I’m on the phone with my sister.  How can I shift them?
[11:55] Flip the script:  make the implicit, explicit
[13:47] How do I prevent co-regulating with my sibling’s nervous system?
[18:01] What can I say in the moment to stop co-regulating with someone in conflict?
[22:03] I want to find my voice but I don’t want to hurt my friend.  What do I say?
[27:35] A way to teach your younger self a new move.
[29:30] Admitting my limitations and noticing the pain they might present.
[35:16] One up/one down dynamics vs. a connected relationship with myself and others.
[37:52] How can I prevent losing myself?
[42:21] What are some strategies to shift from critical, negative, self-shaming thoughts into self-compassionate words that land?
[44:26] How to translate judgment into compassion
[49:28] The concept of pendulation for healing


You can also check these blog posts out if you’re interested in reading more on healing:

Does pendulation work for you?  I’d love to know!  Leave a comment below.


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