Welcome to SpiritHeart’s Trauma Resolution
and “Essential Well-BE-ing”
What is the relationship between Trauma Resolution and “Essential Well-Being”?
“Essential Well-BE-ing” is grounded in the understanding that there is an inherent instinct within the human organism to heal, and beyond healing – to grow and flourish. Our understanding of Trauma Resolution recognizes that the capacity to recover from trauma is largely dependent on accessing this innate wisdom and intelligence.
Trauma is a “too muchness” that an organism had to face—an experience that was too much for the human system and psyche to process. And this “too muchness” is held in the brain, nervous system and body.
In some instances it is an isolated experience such as a car accident, surgery or fall. It could be the effects of war, or a natural disaster, or recovery from an act of violence—the healing needed after being abused, raped or attacked. These are the forms of trauma that are most familiar and recognized as damaging and hurtful.
However, there is another form of trauma which often remains unrecognized that can undermine a person’s ability to draw on their inherent gifts and talents impeding their ability to function well in the world and to have healthy and loving relationships. This is developmental trauma—the traumas of childhood that emerge as a result of the impact of the environment within which a person was raised and the challenges that they experienced in their relationship with their caregiver(s).
These challenges can be the blatant abuses of violence, sexual abuse and physical abandonment. However, there are the more subtle abuses—verbal abuse, emotional abandonment or neglect, or simply an overall absence of attunement to the temperament and spirit of the child. Additionally, a child can be deeply impacted by situational shocks—the loss of a loved one or any other major event or more familiar trauma that would make an abrupt change in the child’s world. Unfortunately, developmental trauma leaves a person more vulnerable to additional traumas as their life unfolds.
With recent developments in understanding the dynamics of trauma, it is now widely recognized that dysregulation in the body and brain systems is at the core of human distress. As human beings we are in the unique position of having a mammalian body as well as the capacity for self-awareness and self-reflection.
Within our mammalian body, the “too muchness” of trauma elicits an instinctual response that evolved in the Pleistocene epoch about 11,000 years ago. This response is based on an organismic reaction to threat. The first line of defense is “fight”, the second is “flight”; and in the absence of these possibilities, the third is “freeze”.
These ancient adaptations of “fight, flight and freeze” can be triggered within modern day life multiple times throughout a day—for example, getting cut off in traffic, having a disagreement with your partner or boss, feeling overwhelmed by the number of e-mails or texts that want your attention, the stress of financial concerns or simply spilling a drink at your desk. These primal responses to perceived threat once triggered, but not completed, are held in the body/mind complex, and serve to foster aggression, fear, numbing, alienation and dissociation. The “side effect of trauma” is that it has a global impact on a person as it limits and narrows his or her ability to respond to and engage in life.
Gratefully, our humanity—our capacity for self-awareness and self-reflection are an important aspect of the way out of this dilemma. Our capacity for mindful awareness, being aware of and noticing our experience is an important piece of solving the “puzzle of trauma”. In the past, within many therapeutic orientations, this capacity has been focused on memories, feelings, meanings and behavior. In Trauma Resolution, the light of awareness is brought to the felt sensate experience. Working with sensate awareness allows access to more fundamental and deeper aspects of the organism—pre-verbal, nonconceptual and sub-psychological.
This work through the sensate experience and the body—a sensorimotor approach—is known as bottom-up processing. This is an equally important piece in solving the “puzzle of trauma”. A sensorimotor approach is a direct route that utilizes the natural self-regulating capacities of the human brain and the body. For many people, who have undergone years of therapy and multiple avenues of treatment who continue to suffer, this is a welcome relief. The emphasis is not on talking, and it is not necessary to recant “the story” with all its details once again which, oftentimes, in itself can be re-traumatizing. Of course, where appropriate and as necessary, there is top down processing to support integration, understanding and perception.
People who suffer from trauma and its aftermath of sensations, emotions, memories and/or limited functioning often feel that they are trapped within their own system with little recourse. An important aspect of our approach to trauma is education in the form of practical, easy tools that will allow an individual the means by which to restore the integrity of their own system. An essential part of healing trauma is empowerment whereby a person expands their capacity to meet the challenges they face on a day-to-day and moment-to-moment basis.
Ultimately, beyond facing the challenges of life, Trauma Resolution seeks to enhance the experience of life in toto. As the bound energies held within the traumas release and let go, the greater healing is the opening of capacity for a more fulfilling life—greater pleasure, connection, joy, love, peace and the restoration of the capacity for fun! These are the human experiences that are severely limited while imprisoned by the “too muchness” of trauma.
If you are interested in scheduling a session or learning more about Trauma Resolution and seeing if it is right for you, contact Catherine or call: 770.804.9270.
You are welcome to explore more about “SpiritHeart and Essential Well-BE-ing” and “Healing into Essential Well-BE-ing”.