28 Nov A Mind & Body Approach to Thriving Instead of just Surviving after Trauma
If you were neglected or abused as a child, your primary orientation to the world is likely to be one of threat, fear, and survival. Its only natural that a childhood experience with untrustworthy parents would leave you untrusting or confused about what constitutes a loving relationship. Fear and lack of safety might compel you to continuously scan your environment for potential threats. you may have relied on coping strategies to survive, such as dissociation, a protective mechanism that disconnects you from threatening experiences. if you can relate to these qualities, you may also identify with related issues such as self criticism, emotional suffering, and relationship difficulties. Healing childhood trauma involves a balance: attending to the wounds of the past while living in the present.
Take comfort in this: Complex PTSD is the result of learned ineffective maladaptive beliefs and behaviours that can be replaced by a positive mind set and health promoting social engaging behaviours.
The Role of the Therapist in transforming attachment trauma:
Healing into wholeness takes the active participation of at least one other brain, mind, and body to repair past injuries – and that can be accomplished through a one-to-one therapeutic relationship, a therapeutic group relationship or one that is intimate and loving. In exploring the “age and stage” development of the right hemisphere and prefrontal cortex in childhood, we discover how the presence of a loving caregiver can stimulate certain hormones, which will help support our growing capacity for social engagement and pleasure in all of our relationships. Brain integration leads to connection and love throughout our entire life span. At trauma recovery institute we bring a deep focus to the role of Neuroscience in restoring the brain’s natural attunement to Secure Attachment. Our brain is a social brain – it is primed for connection, not isolation, and its innate quality of plasticity gives it the ability to re-establish, reveal and expand one’s intrinsic healthy attachment system.
The Nine-Step Method for Transforming Trauma by Peter Levine
Step one : Safety – The first thing is that you have to create a sense of relative safety. working with the social engagement system – you have to help the person feel just safe enough to begin to go into their bodies.
Step Two: Mindfullness – From that sense of relative safety created by the therapist and the environment, we help the person support initial exploration and acceptance of sensations. And we do it only a little bit at a time, so they “touch into their sensations” then come back into the room, into themselves.
Step Three: Pendulation – Is a process called “pendulation.” which means, when people first begin to experience their body sensations, they actually feel worse for a moment. It is probably largely because they have avoided their sensations. So when they feel them, they feel worse. This is like a contraction. But what I have discovered is when you help support people, they discover that with every contraction there is an expansion. So if they learn just to stay with these sensations just momentarily long enough, it will contract but then it will expand. And the rhythm between contraction and expansion, that really gives people the sense, “Oh my God, I’m going to be able to master this!” So, again, when they get the sense or rhythm, of contraction/expansion, it needn’t become threatening. It just becomes, “Oh, okay, I’m contracting, and now I’m expanding.”
Step Four: Titration- This is “titration.” And by titrating, by just dosing one small amount of experience at a time, this creates an increase in stability, resilience, and reorganization of the nervous system. So titration is about carefully touching into the smallest drop of survival-based arousal. This is like a homeopathic approach to trauma, the smallest amount of stimulus that gets the body engaged in its own self-defense mechanisms.
Step Five: Corrective Emotional Experience – This step is to provide corrective experiences by helping them have active experience that supplants or contradicts the passive response of collapse and helplessness. So as they recover active responses, they can feel empowered – active defensive responses. When people are in the immobility response, when they are in the shut-down state, it’s time-limited. So the thing is, we frighten ourselves. Normally the exiting out of immobility is time-limited – you go in and you go out. When people are coming out of immobility, if they are frightened of those sensations, that fear then puts them into immobility. This is called“fear-potentiated immobility.”
Step Six: Containment – We uncouple the fear from the immobility and the person comes out of the immobility, back into life. And, again, when they come out, there is usually a lot of activation, a lot of arousal. So when the person comes out, we have to be prepared to help them contain that sensation of arousal and then move through that, back into homeostasis, balance and social engagement.
Step Seven: Discharge – Is to help clients discharge and regulate the high arousal states, and they redistribute the mass of the vital energy mobilized for life-preserving action, while freeing that energy to support higher-level brain functions.
Step Nine:Grounding / Reorienting – Is to help the client reorient in the here and now; contact the environment, the room, wherever they are – the emergency room if it is the emergency room, the recovery room if it is the recovery room – and reestablish the capacity for social engagement.
Working with Trauma at Trauma Recovery Institute
Trauma Recovery Institute offers unparalleled services and treatment approach through unique individual and group psychotherapy. We specialise in long-term relational trauma recovery, sexual trauma recovery and early childhood trauma recovery. We also offer specialized group psychotherapy for psychotherapists and psychotherapy students, People struggling with addictions and substance abuse, sexual abuse survivors and people looking to function in life at a higher level. Trauma recovery Institute offers a very safe supportive space for deep relational work with highly skilled and experienced psychotherapists accredited with Irish Group Psychotherapy Society (IGPS), which holds the highest accreditation standard in Europe. Trauma Recovery Institute uses a highly structured psychotherapeutic approach called Dynamic Psychosocialsomatic Psychotherapy (DPP).
At Trauma Recovery Institute we address three of the core Attachment Styles, their origin’s the way they reveal themselves in relationships, and methods for transforming attachment hurt into healing. We use the latest discoveries in Neuroscience which enhances our capacity for deepening intimacy. The foundation for establishing healthy relationships relies on developing secure attachment skills, thus increasing your sensitivity for contingency and relational attunement. According to Allan Schore, the regulatory function of the brain is experience-dependent and he says that, as an infant, our Mother is our whole environment. In our relational trauma recovery approach you will learn to understand how the early patterns of implicit memory – which is pre-verbal, sub-psychological, and non-conceptual – build pathways in our brain that affect our attachment styles. Clinically, we can shift such ingrained associative patterns in our established neural network by bringing in new and different “lived” experiences in the Here and Now, thus developing a learnt secure attachment.
Dynamic Psychosocialsomatic Psychotherapy (DPP) at Trauma Recovery Institute Dublin
Dynamic Psychosocialsomatic Psychotherapy (DPP) is a highly structured, once to twice weekly-modified psychodynamic treatment based on the psychoanalytic model of object relations. This approach is also informed by the latest in neuroscience, interpersonal neurobiology and attachment theory. As with traditional psychodynamic psychotherapy relationship takes a central role within the treatment and the exploration of internal relational dyads. Our approach differs in that also central to the treatment is the focus on the transference and countertransference, an awareness of shifting bodily states in the present moment and a focus on the client’s external relationships, emotional life and lifestyle.
Dynamic Psychosocialsomatic Psychotherapy (DPP) is an integrative treatment approach for working with complex trauma, borderline personality organization and dissociation. This treatment approach attempts to address the root causes of trauma-based presentations and fragmentation, seeking to help the client heal early experiences of abandonment, neglect, trauma, and attachment loss, that otherwise tend to play out repetitively and cyclically throughout the lifespan in relationship struggles, illness and addictions. Clients enter a highly structured treatment plan, which is created by client and therapist in the contract setting stage. The Treatment plan is contracted for a fixed period of time and at least one individual or group session weekly.
“Talk therapy alone is not enough to address deep rooted trauma that may be stuck in the body, we need also to engage the body in the therapeutic process and engage ourselves as clients and therapists to a complex interrelational therapeutic dyad, right brain to right brain, limbic system to limbic system in order to address and explore trauma that persists in our bodies as adults and influences our adult relationships, thinking and behaviour.”
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