Trauma is a special interest of mine, as it so intimately related with just about any health or life problem we can imagine.
There are major 'Big T' traumas such as loss of life and limb or abusive relationships. There are also smaller and more subtle 'little t' traumas. This may be when we were spoken to harshly by our grade 3 teacher, or when as an infant our mum inadvertently left us to cry.
Then there is collective trauma, which extends to our parents, ancestors, societies, culture and countries. Often invisible, this leads to widespread emotional repression and plays out in poverty and violence across the planet.
Therefore trauma healing is relevant to all of us, whether we have a mental health 'diagnosis' or we are simply willing to do the inner work needed to heal.
Most people with trauma-related problems have experienced multiple traumas, which is what we call complex trauma. This describes exposure to multiple traumas as well as the huge impacts of such exposure, which can make us truly feel as if our life is in ruins.
Although we may think it is simply another label to describe mental illness, the acceptance of this label in mainstream healthcare, I believe, has the capacity to revolutionize how we understand and treat ill health. To this end, complex post traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) is now recognized by the ICD - the global classification of mental health disorders.
The single most important thing I have learnt in my trauma studies is about the impact of adverse childhood experiences, also known as ACEs. I continue to learn how these patterns are imperfect solutions to the toxic imprints of adverse childhood experiences, or of traumatic memories in general - both individual and collective.
These toxic imprints, which we now know can go as far back as the womb and even our ancestors, set up brain pathways and 'body memories' which persist into adulthood. The sad truth is this is really common, with 1 in 4 Australian adults now experiencing the impact childhood trauma.
My offerings and services radically changed when I was able to understand the role of complex trauma and learn methods to help people move past their struggles – it became more real, heartfelt, courageous and effective.
No more hiding behind diagnostic labels, protocols, as I attempted to plunge in to the true reality of what affected people’s lives and allow them to be my teachers.
Trauma Healing Modalities
EMDR Therapy - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EMDR uses eye movements or tapping from side to side to activate and facilitate the mind's natural healing processes. The emotional wound, embedded as an 'energy block' in the body, is allowed to unravel and release as the system comes back into balance.
IFS teaches us to get to know our internal 'parts' from an open place of compassion and curiosity, so we are able to witness the healing of our wounds - those parts of us who have been shielded from our conscious awareness as the pain they carry is simply too overwhelming.
CRM - Comprehensive Resourcing Model
CRM is a process of building our inner strength and resilience by inviting us to experience a sequence of powerful exercises known as 'resources', based on the brain's innate capacity to connect with nature, experience positive attachment, feel fully embodied and regulate our nervous system using breath; we can then enter traumatic experiences from a new place that is grounded, stable, solid and connected to one's deepest Core Self.