Hacking Trauma: We Were Built to HEAL!
Trauma is a defense mechanism that has come onboard to (in its origins) protect us and it simply hasn’t dissolved its protective function YET. In human beings mental health is greatly affected by our advanced memories and advanced imagination. A dog doesn’t have a working memory past 16-17 seconds, it relies on instinct and conditioning. It uses sight, smell, taste, etc and becomes conditioned to its human owner as a place of belonging, safety, and joy. A human being by contrast has an advanced ability to live in an abstract world of (Past, Future, and even an Abstract Present where we are imagining what others are thinking and doing, none of which has to be and frequently is not actually true). While our advanced abstract thinking gives us an enormous amount of control over our world, it is also our downfall as without it, we would be as happy as our dogs are most of the time unless they have been conditioned to fear.
Anxiety ( a by product of trauma) is a symptom of one of two things A.) that you’re actually in danger, which is a good signal to have (or) B.) that you have had some form of trauma or emotional conditioning that has affected your Autonomic Nervous System and hasn’t dissolved or (completed its cycle of trauma YET).
The key to successful trauma processing is using the mind to get the mind out of the way to allow the body to do what it does naturally which is complete cycles of trauma.
When I use the word trauma here, I use it very generally as I am describing everything from an emotional conditioning to a trauma little t, to Trauma Big T. Examples would be a spectrum of everything from I didn’t get what I wanted on my 7th year birthday party to more serious events like I was raped (or) I watched my best friend die in my arms in Afghanistan. The mechanisms of some form of Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Disconnection are the same just truly differing degrees of charge and strength respectfully.
My job as a trauma processing therapist is to use the Triad of Change (Focus, Language, & Structure) in anyway I can to facilitate (in the language of the individual) a shifting of the way they are holding memory in the body. These are normally memories or modelings where we have created or learned to create defense mechanisms in thought, emotion, or sensation that we haven’t let go of yet. Frequently this is a subconscious process in the body and rationalization often doesn’t resolve. Insight can, but usually doesn’t shift body reaction behavior. If insight shifted behavior we would ALL have fantastic diets and exercise regimes. We all know what we’re supposed to do but that doesn’t always motivate us to get off the couch!
We have a lot of pretty useful rules in trauma work like in the Triad of Change (Focus, Language, and Structure), if you are stuck in one of these and can create movement in the other two, you will get movement in that one.
Another understanding is simply you cannot leave a place you don’t allow yourself to be (and) what you resist persists. It’s important to find a guide that can lead you into understanding what these mean for you and how can you gain information (energy) to move out of your current felt sense of identity and into a new one that actually serves you.
The stigma of mental health so frequently creates an “It’s NOT OK that I’m NOT OK” mentality where we begin to create layers of mental strategy NOT to look at what truly needs attention. The crazy part is that we truly have the psychological technology to facilitate and completely eradicate mental/emotional suffering except in cases of organic deficiency and even then we can greatly shift the quality of life.
This is Absolutely True!
In FACT we are Actually Built to Heal!
The trouble is much of the possibly dangerous counseling world is still stuck in ONLY cognitive behavioral therapeutic solutions which only work a certain part of the time. This completely misses or doesn’t understand what is actually rapidly possible with what is now dozens of somatic therapies that can quickly relieve the way the body is holding neural charge of all types of Post Traumatic events we haven’t processed YET and whose defense mechanisms that are designed to protect us have now become a part of our felt sense of identity in ways that don’t actually help us lead healthy connected lives. The reason why Cognitive Therapy fails so much especially with really intelligent people is because it only deals with the realm of thought, which frequently is ONLY Abstract reality and really intelligent people are REALLY GOOD at arguing with themselves. No one has taught us or modeled how to do what we were actually built to do because we belong to a societal norm that punishes us if we say we aren’t OK.
I say bullshit. It’s OK if you’re not OK. In fact, the best thing we could ever do is create safe places for us to NOT control our emotions and actually allow ourselves to be Sad or Even Rage. Now granted, we don’t want to walk around exploding our emotional reactions like a bazooka hurting those we either love, protect, or need to work with. But if you don’t allow yourself to process what is actually here, then it’s coming out somewhere, in your relationships with your romantic partners, with your children, family/friends, or even in your career.
If you are interested in learning how to melt subconscious defense mechanisms that you feel you have NO CONTROL over, I invite you to do a deep dive session. At the very least you will leave even a first session with a more complete understanding of what works, what doesn’t work, and most importantly what’s next. Once you truly understand the mechanisms of how to melt our masks of protection, it’s off to the races creating an energy rich life reclaiming all that power we’ve been holding in our disconnected defensive blocks!
Stay tuned for more articles on how to melt into FLOW and create an energy rich life!