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Quote from a Prominent Trauma Book

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Northerner, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. Northerner

    Northerner New Member

    "When people are chronically angered or scared, constant muscle tension ultimately leads to spasms, back pain, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, and other forms of chronic pain. They may visit multiple specialists, undergo extensive diagnostic tests, and be prescribed multiple medications, some of which may provide temporary relief but all of which fail to address the underlying issues. Their diagnosis will come to define their reality without ever being identified as a symptom of their attempt to cope with trauma."

    From The Body Keeps the Score, Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD, p. 266

    A couple of notes: Psychiatrist Van Der Kolk is one of the pre-eminent leaders in the study and treatment of trauma in the world, and this book draws upon his life's work at Harvard's teaching hospitals and others in the Boston areas, as well as countless other trauma studies from around the world. His work indicates that trauma is stored in the body until it is released; essentially, the body is locked in the fight-flight-freeze state by the older and unconscious parts of the brain. His work includes numerous brain scans of people who are in traumatized states, or who have been induced to make the brain go to the state it was in when the trauma was experienced by imagining it. The rational part of the brain doesn't light up in these scans; it is the old, crocodile brain or other subconscious parts of the brain that light up.

    Trauma doesn't necessarily mean having been shot at or abused. Many of us have experienced what appeared to us as traumas as infants or children; it can be as simple as feeling abandoned by busy parents as babies (abandonment can be for an hour, which can seem endless to a baby), getting pushed around by an older sibling and countless other seemingly normal parts of people's upbringings.

    The treatments he's found effective include things as basic as journaling, as well as EMDR, Yoga, neurofeedback and a number of other physical and psychological techniques (he hasn't found simple talk therapy to be very effective in relieving trauma). The key ingredient to treatment, however, is getting the body and brain out of the automatic state and into back into a rational state, which I think is essentially similar to much of what the TMS treatment methods do.

    It's fairly complicated to simplify this book into a couple of paragraphs, but if you don't want to read it, there are summaries and online videos of him speaking if you want to learn more.
    Ellen likes this.
  2. EricFeelsThisWay

    EricFeelsThisWay Peer Supporter

    That's an excellent book. I also really recommend "Healing Developmental Trauma". I've read it a couple times and it's the most in-depth approach to the day-to-day traumas that many TMS-ers seem to suffer from. They have a specialized therapy treatment based in LA I believe that is very somatic-oriented. In fact, they call their process Somatic Experiencing, or SE.
  3. pspa

    pspa Well known member

    I went to see dr van der kolk. I had high hopes. All he offered me was neurofeedback. Told me afrer ten minutes nothing else would help. Hooked me up to his latest russian device and wanted me to commit to twenty sessions. I felt misused thought he was a fraud. Turns out it was his latest research interest so i would have been another guinea pig.

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