Neuroscientific research has demonstrated the impact of trauma on the brain, including changes to the sensory systems, grey-matter volume, neural architecture and neural circuits (Read 2014) – ref. 1
There is also a growing body of evidence that trauma leaves an imprint not only on the brain but on the mind and body too, signifying the value of broadening our understanding of and approach to healing trauma (Van der Kolk 2014) – ref. 2
We know that healing can be further enhanced and often begins outside of the therapist/client relationship. Conversely, further trauma can occur when trauma-informed approaches are not at the forefront of clinical and support responses.
Low self-esteem, feelings of guilt and shame, transient psychotic experiences, depression and aggressive feelings and behaviours are some of the many adaptations to trauma.
Likewise, explosive anger, walking out of or avoiding services, extreme apathy, overcompliance and silent crying potentially need to be recognised and understood as adaptive responses from trauma. These examples of emotional dysregulation can benefit from emotional understanding and adaptive regulation strategies (Powers 2015) ref. 3
We also know that ‘healing happens in relationships’. Consider this:
Problematic attachment and experiences of trauma in the early years of a persons life have contributed to the challenges of managing emotions, coping with distressing thoughts, engaging in functional relationships and prosocial behaviour.
Therefore, it makes sense to prioritise, positive, boundaried attachment and a safe, nurturing experience as fundamental in the approach of any organisation engaged in human services work.
If you’re looking to gain a better understanding of trauma, complex trauma, post traumatic stress disorder or borderline personality disorder, we have a number of ways we can support your organisation. This includes, workshops, seminars, consultations, reflective practice and supervision opportunities.
Post by Brett Bridges