The process of healing from trauma is so profound that it may often be experienced as a spiritual, life changing experience.


Judith Lewis Herman, MD, author of Trauma and Recovery states the following:
Traumatic events are extraordinary not because they occur rarely, but because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life … the common denominator of psychological trauma is a feeling of “intense fear, helplessness, loss of control, and threat of annihilation.”

Raymond B. Flannery, Jr., Ph.D. explains trauma in these words: “Psychological trauma is the state of severe fright that we experience when we are confronted with a sudden, unexpected, life-threatening event over which we have no control, and to which we are unable to respond effectively no matter how hard we try.”

When we are in the throes of a traumatic experience our body mobilizes flight-or-fight survival energies to meet the danger of the trauma. Unlike animals in the natural world, human beings in most cases fail to discharge these energies which were mobilized to meet the threatening event. Traumatic symptoms are thus the result of staying stuck in survival mode.

PTSD symptoms may range from obvious connections to the original event (e.g. being fearful of driving following a car accident) to more subtle manifestations that one doesn’t even recognize as relating to the traumatic event (e.g. fatigue, feelings of disorientation, apathy,etc.). Any event in one’s daily life that conjures up the original traumatic occurrence can easily trigger a symptomatic response.

In working with survivors of trauma we start by creating a ground of safety which the person can access at will. In some traditional approaches to trauma work the person is encouraged to recount the events of the trauma step by step. However, this method runs the risk of re-traumatizing the individual and is

discouraged in our work. In the approach I use called Somatic Experiencing healing occurs as small segments of stuck energy are mobilized enabling the nervous system to reintegrate.

An important part of the healing process is using imagination both to foster the release of pent up feelings as well as to allow the body to experience soothing, positive sensations and emotions. Trauma lives in the cells of our bodies and this is a powerful tool for changing the cellular memory that holds the trauma.

The process of healing from trauma is so profound that it may often be experienced as a spiritual, life changing experience.

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