25 Feb GROUP THERAPY
In an atmosphere of love, compassion, non judgment, acceptance and awareness, using different techniques such as core energetic work, bioenergetics and Group psychotherapy, we pierce through layers of protection. This process allows one to uncover psychological patterns, release primal feelings and suppressed energy and thus return to the essence of who we are.
The only way to heal our wounds is to expose them, to bring them to the light. When the longing to be free is bigger than the fear of being exposed, we open ourselves to experiences that re-program our deepest beliefs about ourselves. The workshop helps the individual to look at emotional incidents from the past in order to liberate the flow of energy held in dysfunctional psychological behavior patterns. We aim to create an atmosphere in which love and awareness surround and support us, allowing us to drop layers of protection which are no longer needed, release suppressed energy and return to our essence.
Fortunately, because we are instinctual beings with the ability to feel, respond and reflect, we possess the innate potential to heal even the most debilitating traumatic injuries. Traumatic symptoms are not caused by the ”triggering” event itself. They stem from the frozen residue of energy that has not been resolved and discharged; this residue remains trapped in the nervous system where it can wreak havoc on our bodies and spirits. The long-term, alarming, debilitating, and often bizarre symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develop when we cannot complete the process of moving in, through and out of the ”immobility” or ”freezing” state. However, we can thaw by initiating and encouraging our innate drive to return to a state of dynamic equilibrium.
A threatened human must discharge all the energy mobilized to negotiate that threat or it will become a victim of trauma. This residual energy does not simply go away. It persists in the body, and often forces the formation of a wide variety of symptoms; i.e., anxiety, depression, psychosomatic and behavioral problems. These symptoms are the organism’s way of containing (or corralling) the undischarged residual energy.
Fortunately, the same immense energies that create the symptoms of trauma, when properly engaged and mobilized, can transform the trauma and propel us into new heights of healing, mastery, and even wisdom. Trauma resolved is a great gift, returning us to the natural world of ebb and flow, harmony, love and compassion. Having spent the last twenty-five years working with people who have been traumatized in almost every conceivable fashion, I believe that we humans have the innate capacity not only to heal ourselves, but our world, from the debilitating effects of trauma.
The root of violence – Alice miller
All children are born to grow, to develop, to live, to love, and to articulate their needs and feelings for their self protection. For their development, children need the respect and protection of adults who take them seriously, love them, and honestly help them to become oriented in the world.
When these vital needs are frustrated and children are, instead, abused for the sake of adults’ needs by being exploited, beaten, punished, taken advantage of, manipulated, neglected, or deceived without the intervention of any witness, then their integrity will be lastingly impaired.
The normal reactions to such injury should be anger and pain. Since children in this hurtful kind of environment are forbidden to express their anger, however, and since it would be unbearable to experience their pain all alone, they are compelled to suppress their feelings, repress all memory of the trauma, and idealize those guilty of the abuse. Later they will have no memory of what was done to them.
Disassociated from the original cause, their feelings of anger, helplessness, despair, longing, anxiety, and pain will find expression I destructive acts against others (criminal behavior, mass murder) or against themselves (drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution psychic disorders and suicide).
For some years now, it has been possible to prove, through new therapeutic methods, that repressed traumatic experiences of childhood are stored up in the body and, though unconscious, exert an influence even in adulthood. In addition, electronic testing of the fetus has revealed a fact previously unknown to most adults, that a child responds to and learns both tenderness and cruelty from the very beginning. New evidence from Neuro science also confirms that a Child’s brain development is greatly influenced by its environment and relationships from the very beginning of life, even in the womb.
The idea of group therapy may feel a bit scary at first.
Despite initial concern, we find people quickly experience the safety, respect, inspiration, and support that comes with group and it becomes a favorite and valued part of the residential experience. The richness of mutual support, feedback, and modeling are unique to group work. Interpersonal skills and challenges may become more easily evident in group, and progress can be experienced, and noted by other members.
The positive impact of group work to support change has been well-documented. For example Burlingame (2004) reviewed 700 studies on groups and reported “the group format consistently produced positive effects”. Change requires support. We all know people who are good for us to be around when we are down… we also probably know people to avoid if we want to stay in
a good mood!! We impact one another. Parents know if they become calm, there is more chance of calming their upset infant child. The field of interpersonal neurobiology, using brain-imaging technology, is reporting we are hardwired to connect with others and our neural pathways are impacted by relationships. Said differently, we need each other, and we change each other.
Thus being part of a facilitated group of people facing similar challenges and wanting to succeed: can offer inspiration,support, creative ideas, fun, laughter… and change our neural pathways!!
Explore Your Self To heal yourself !
All children are born to grow, to develop, to live, to love, and to articulate their needs and feelings for their self protection. For their development, children need the respect and protection of adults who take them seriously, love them, and honestly help them to become oriented in the world. When these vital needs are frustrated and children are, instead, abused for the sake of adults’ needs by being exploited, beaten, punished, taken advantage of, manipulated, neglected, or deceived without the intervention of any witness, then their integrity will be lastingly impaired.
Paradox in the Treatment of Trauma:
The seeds of healing are in what we fear the most; illness is rooted in trauma- forged attempts at safety. People who have been overwhelmed by unbearable emotions become afraid to feel, and develop affect phobias. They seek safety in numbing their senses, steeling their bodies, and hardening their hearts. People who have been hurt, betrayed, and discarded by others they have loved, become afraid of loving. Afraid of emotional contact, they seek safety in isolation, detachment, and a relentless, and brittle, self-reliance. In thus seeking safety, they actually cut themselves off from the two greatest sources of adaptation Mother Nature endowed us with. Emotions and attachments (Bowlby, 1988; Darwin, 1872). The defense mechanisms instituted to protect instead lead not only to emptiness, loneliness, fragmentation and despair, but also to being out of control and to being either a target for further victimization, or else at risk for becoming a victimizer. The goal of therapy is simple: restore the capacity to feel and relate, so that these natural affective change processes –attachment and emotion– have a chance to serve the individual’s optimal adaptation (Fosha, 2002a).In order to help patients relate and feel and deal, we must also help them develop safety procedures that do not defensively abort the very forces that can promote healing.
The essence of trauma is helplessness:
The self is helpless in the face of an onslaught of events, helpless to alter the course of what happens. The self is helpless in affecting the course of events: whatever happens is going to happen. In trauma, we are helpless in the face of a whirlwind of damage and pain. Trauma compromises the capacity to trust, to be vulnerable and to surrender to experience. Paradoxically, the therapeutic situation, when it is at its most powerful, uncomfortably shares essential elements with the trauma situation (though, needless to say, also with crucial differences). It requires
vulnerability and surrender: the vulnerability to trust and to be open and to allow another, therapist, and a process, the therapy, to have an impact; and the surrender to one’s inner experience, to letting something of uncertain ending, take one over. It requires surrender to processes not ruled by logic and reality, but rather ruled by the logic of biological and psychological survival, processes mediated not by the neo- cortex, but subcortically and by the right hemisphere. As Peter Levine (2002) said, “These processes have a reason that reason cannot reason.”
The issue of control and surrender is a particularly tricky one in trauma. Defenses in essence represent attempts to exert control on a world has become a scary and evil. Though informed by the best of adaptive strivings, in the long run, defensive strategies produce a very mixed picture, where the bad news side of it is pretty bad.
Respect Your Defenses, even while you are working to disolve them, as Inner walls do not come crashing down, They Melt – Deepak Chopra
Life Change Health Institute offers world unique individual & group psychotherapy. We specialize in long-term relational trauma recovery, sexual trauma recovery and early childhood trauma recovery. We offer a very gentle, safe, supportive and compassionate space for deep relational work with highly skilled, trained and experienced psychotherapists. All of our psychotherapists are accredited or working towards accreditation with Irish Group Psychotherapy Society (I.G.P.S), which holds the highest accreditation standard in Europe. Our therapeutic approach is an overall evidence-based treatment approach for working with complex trauma and dissociation, that addresses the root causes of trauma-based presentations and fragmentation, and so results in long term recovery. Highly effective psychological and somatic techniques are woven into a carefully staged treatment approach, which systemically integrates significant relationships into the treatment process. Dynamic (PT) PsychoSocialSomatic Therapy seeks to 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. It is unique in that it approaches the body first (bottom-up processing) and unlike any other form of therapy also integrates the social element of looking at the clients nutrition, environment, support structures, relationships, level of intimacy and attachment style.
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