When people hear the word “trauma”, they often think of what it means in a very narrow way. They think of it as someone who has been in a war or was in a severe accident. While PTSD is one form of trauma, trauma has a much broader meaning. In Healing Relationship Therapy, we understand that a significant percentage of the population gets traumatized in their attachment relationships starting at a very young age (even during their time in the womb) up until the present moment. We call this DEVELOPMENTAL AND ATTACHMENT TRAUMA. It can show up as anxiety, depression, apathy, sluggishness, panic, numbness and many other uncomfortable, overwhelming feelings. It can be so overwhelming that it debilitates you, making it hard to go to work or nurture your relationships.
ATTACHMENT and DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA experiences happens to most of us to greater or lesser degrees. We are instinctually wired to “attach” to other humans. From the time we are born our behavior is geared toward getting the humans who are taking care of us to attach to us and their behavior is usually geared to getting us to attach to them. As babies, our very survival depends on it. In fact it’s been shown that even more than
food, babies need a humans touch. They need to attach. In cases where this didn’t happen, babies have been shown to literally stop eating altogether and die. So we are “wired” to seek out the close connection of other humans. Therefore when our primary caregivers act in ways that make us believe our safety is in jeopardy we can be traumatized by this. This is especially true because the person we are supposed to be able to turn to for soothing and safety, is the person causing the feeling of not being safe. A prime example of how this happens in a very common subtle way is when we do something they don’t like and they withhold their love and care. As little children we are very intuitive and so we can feel the withdrawal of their love, even if its only for a brief time. This can cause a sense of not feeling safe that can overwhelm our delicate young nervous systems.
Thankfully, these old trauma scars can be healed and we can innately grow a more solid nervous system that doesn’t get so easily stressed. One of the best ways to do this is through experiential work; Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a model I have been trained in which is considered by most to be the best modality to help heal trauma. I also have extensive training in Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) Both these models work with the physiology, the emotions and the thoughts, in ways that help the client groove new neural pathways in the brain. These new neural networks allow us to have a more solid nervous system and a more grounded and centered physiology so we can respond with more confidence and peace of mind. We’re able to manage our upsets more easily and we don’t get overwhelmed as often.
When the trauma is due to traumatic events such as an accident, molestation, murder etc. trauma therapy can also help. We work very slowly and carefully with the old memories or lack of memories to uncover the traumas and heal them in a way that allows them to lessen their impact, and no longer torment you. As an experienced trauma healer I help my clients deepen their ability to handle life’s adversities. You can get relief from trauma. I can help.