working with trauma

“trauma is perhaps the most avoided, ignored, belittled, denied misunderstood, and untreated cause of human suffering” Peter Levine

Trauma doesn’t necessarily refer just to the specific incident or event, it is what happens inside of us, how our body responds that leaves the imprint.

At the time of a traumatic event a whole lot of things happen in our brains and bodies that we are completely unaware of. Our fight/flight sympathetic response governed by the amygdala (our alarm system) completely takes over as survival is the upmost priority. Our pre-frontal cortex (the thinking rational part of the brain) goes completely offline. Our bodies and brains are flooded with cortisol, this cortisol floods the hippocampus (the timekeeper) responsible for putting date stamps on events, so then the event does not get filed away correctly in the past, kind of like the file is left sticking out of the filing cabinet and the trauma can still feel alive in our body even years later and instead of remembering it, we relive it.

The hippocampus is also responsible for remembering an event visually and it usually takes a detailed panoramic view of an event, but during a traumatic event it zooms right in and only takes close up and blurry pictures of tiny details without the context. This means that small, partial elements for example the colour of the car, if you were involved in a vehicle accident might then become a trigger for you as your brain immediately relates it back to this event.

Not everyone experiences the same event the same way, it depends on a lot of different circumstances, what happened afterwards, did you have the right support, whether you were trapped and immobilised, what beliefs were running through your head at the time etc.

Using tools such as IFS, EMDR and Embodied Processing and working somatically with the body allows these traumatic imprints to be processed and cleared out of the body. Allowing the brain to file them away in the past, freeing you up from the ongoing pain, unhelpful beliefs and triggers from everyday occurrences and interactions that can leave us feeling confused, hurt and isolated.

These processes are gentle, non-invasive and very supportive. If you are interested in working with me in this way, please book a discovery call to see if we are a good match.