Childhood Trauma And Somatic Psychology

We know that significant and protracted trauma in childhood can adversely affect the body’s physiology leading to constant feelings of hypervigilance in adulthood due to a dysregulated autonomic nervous system and how therapy involving the body can help reverse such effects. Somatic psychology is a type of therapy that focuses on somatic (i.e. bodily) experiences …

Is Your Chronic Pain Linked To Muscle Armouring?

      N.B. If you suffer from pain it is important to ensure it does not have a physical cause by consulting an appropriate professional.  One of the hallmarks of complex PTSD is a perpetual feeling of being under threat, stemming from constantly feeling afraid and vulnerable during childhood. This is true even though …

Being Traumatized ‘Like Having Foot On Brake And Gas At Same Time.’

The traumatized state has been likened to the effects of the simultaneous depression of both a car’s gas pedal (accelerator) and brake. I explain why below : Our physiological state of arousal is determined by the interplay between our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and these two systems have the following functions : THE SYMPATHETIC …

Symptoms Of Trauma And Their Link To ‘Energy Trapped In The Body.’

According to Dr Peter Levine, symptoms of trauma may be explained by ‘energy trapped in the body,’ and, as a direct result of his theory, he has developed a therapy known as SOMATIC EXPERIENCING THERAPY. WHAT IS MEANT BY ‘ENERGY TRAPPED IN THE BODY?’ If we have experienced chronic trauma and have felt frequently under …

Reducing The Effects Of Trauma With Neurocardiology

Neurocardiology is a recently developed area of academic, scientific research initiated by the researcher J. Andrew Armour M.D., Ph.D. (1991) and is the study of how the nervous system and the cardiovascular system interact physiologically. According to Demorree (2013), those suffering from psychological distress may be helped as more becomes understood about how the brain, …

‘Top-Down’ And ‘Bottom-Up’ Ways Of Treating Childhood Trauma.

  WHAT ARE ‘TOP-DOWN’ THERAPIES? A ‘top-down’ therapy is one that aims to create a positive change in the individual’s behavioural, emotional and somatic symptoms in a ‘top-down’ direction (i.e. by beneficially ALTERING THE INDIVIDUAL’S THOUGHT PROCESSES). Techniques for doing this include cognitive restructuring and increasing the traumatized individual’s insight into his or her condition, …

How Childhood Trauma Can Cause Hypervigilance And Treatments

A person who is hypervigilant feels constantly ‘on edge’, ‘keyed up’ and fearful. S/he experiences a perpetual sense of dread and of being under threat despite the fact, objectively speaking, there is no present danger. Indeed, the person affected in this way is so intensely alert to, and focused upon, any conceivable imminent danger that …

BRAKE AND GAS-PEDAL BOTH ON? HOW TRAUMA HARMS BODY.

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  Peter Levine, an expert on the effects of trauma on the body, states that as a result of severe and prolonged trauma, the functioning of our nervous systems can become seriously disrupted. More specifically, traumatized individuals can suffer from dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system. What Is The Autonomic Nervous System? The autonomic nervous system …

Trauma Release Exercises For Effects Of Childhood Trauma

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The human stress/fear response evolved millions of years ago in our ancestors to allow them to survive – it is commonly known as the ‘fight or flight’ response. If we saw a tiger, it was necessary to feel fear as this fear motivated us to freeze and then to run away when it was safe …

Somatic Experiencing Therapy : Healing The Dysfunctional Nervous System

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Dr Peter Levine’s somatic experiencing therapy is predicated upon the idea that the disturbing symptoms of PTSD are substantially caused by the adverse effect our traumatic experiences have had on the way our body and nervous system works. In essence, Levine contends that if we are suffering from PTSD it means we have become ‘stuck’ in the …

Childhood Trauma and ‘Body Memories’.

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What Are Body Memories? When we experience severe trauma our bodies respond accordingly. For example, the body’s production of ADRENALIN significantly increases, as does its production of CORTISOL (both of these are STRESS HORMONES). In turn, this leads to bodily responses and sensations which include: – increased heart rate – increased sweating – hyperventilation (rapid …

Childhood Trauma and Depression – Somatic Symptoms

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We know that the experience of significant childhood trauma makes a person more vulnerable to suffering from clinical depression in later life. Whilst depression usually gives rise to both psychological and somatic (i.e. bodily) symptoms, in this article I intend to focus solely on somatic symptoms. One such symptom of depression is a constant feeling …