Trauma—our mental and emotional response to a deeply distressing event that overwhelms our ability to process the stress we feel—can make us feel terrible and helpless. In severe cases we may feel paralyzed and unable to help ourselves. The experiences that trigger trauma vary widely, and each individual’s responses will be different. Someone could experience trauma from a distressing social experience that another may laugh off, while the roles may be reversed if the two witnessed the same car crash. The effects of trauma may not be immediately obvious and may surface in seemingly unrelated situations or behaviors. Thankfully, there are many effective therapies available for identifying and working through trauma.
If you or someone you know is in immediate need of support, please seek professional help. If you are in crisis, here are some immediate free resources.
For both clinicians and their clients there is tremendous value in understanding the psychophysiology of trauma and knowing what to do about its manifestations. This book illuminates that physiology, shining a bright light on the impact of trauma on the body and the phenomenon of somatic memory.
Peter uses his famous "Slinky" presentation to demonstrate the effects of trauma on the nervous system, and his philosophy of treating trauma; which involves slowly releasing (or titrating) this compressed fight-or-flight energy a bit at time to give the individual the ability to reintegrate it...