Transcript Sample

An Excerpt from a

Transcript

Below you will find an excerpt of the transcript (including a full table of contents) from the course with Peter Levine, PhD. Transcripts are a great way to review, take notes, and make the ideas from the sessions your own. Here's the sample:

Why It’s Critical to Understand the Role of Memory in Trauma Therapy

with Peter Levine, PhD
and Ruth Buczynski, PhD

Contents

The Foundation for Trauma Treatment’s Newest Ideas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3

A Lesson Learned from the Kanak People of Brazil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5

Linking Ritual Healing Practices to the Current Treatment of Trauma . . . . . . . . . . .

7

Common Misunderstandings about the Nature of Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

9

The Seductive Law of Psychological Causation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

11

How Trauma Impacts Explicit and Implicit Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

12

Revisiting Rather than Reliving Trauma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

15

Where the Field of Trauma Treatment Is Headed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

16

About the Speaker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

18

Dr. Buczynski: Hello everyone and welcome. I’m Dr. Ruth Buczynski, a licensed psychologist in the State of Connecticut and the President of the National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine and I’m so glad that you’re joining us for this Trauma Series.

The treatment of trauma is so important. If we can help people heal from the effect of trauma, we can make a difference, not only to them, but to their families and communities, and that impacts the world.

It’s so very important that you’re participating with us today.

Our very special guest is Peter Levine. He has spent the last 40 years or so studying the treatment of trauma.

In his first book, Waking the Tiger, he shared concepts and insights from biology and what animals do – how they experience and recover from trauma.

Let me just say, welcome. It’s always good to talk with you, Peter.

Dr. Buczynski: I know that for a lot of us, we’re very driven to trying to help the patient. A lot of that
involves thinking diagnostically: Where have I seen this before? What might this be? Do I know how to
fix it?

I wonder if that perhaps gets in the way of the connection between the practitioner and the patient.

The Foundation for Trauma Treatment’s Newest Ideas

Let’s briefly touch on your early concepts based on animals in the wild and how they recover from trauma. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on that, but it’s an important foundation to review.

Dr. Levine: Almost all animals in the wild experience threat. They experience predation and most animals are afraid of some other animal.

“If animals were traumatized the way humans are, animals wouldn’t survive nor would the species.”

Now, when I first started looking at trauma in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, I was discovering what kinds of seemingly minor events could lead to people developing symptoms that we now call trauma, or PTSD.

I worked with people and studied animal behavior because it occurred to me, if animals were traumatized the way humans are, animals wouldn’t survive nor would the species.

“The human animal must be somehow interfering with the innate capacity to rebound from overwhelming events.”

I figured that there must be some mechanism – some selfcorrecting or self-regulating mechanism – that we share with animals because the parts of our brain that are involved in survival are exactly the same parts that exist in the brain stem of animals. We absolutely share that capacity with animals.

I decided that the human animal must be somehow interfering with the innate capacity to rebound from overwhelming events.

My first discovery was that animals exhibit a whole sequence of behaviors, including shaking, trembling, and deep spontaneous breathing. Also, after they have been chased and they escape, they are able to discharge this extra energy that prepared them for this flight or fight.

I also realized that the human animal prevents this because we are afraid of the very sensations that bring us and the animals back into equilibrium.

“We are afraid of the very sensations that bring us back into equilibrium.”

So I thought: either we don’t have the same mechanisms as other animals do, and in particular, mammals, or we have the same mechanisms but somehow we’ve overridden them – we’ve suppressed them.

That idea really led to the methodology of somatic experiencing and to my first book, as you mentioned, Waking the Tiger and then later In an Unspoken Voice, where I look at precisely what these mechanisms are, how and where people get stuck in fight, flight, freeze or collapse, and then how to support moving through the trauma to develop a greater resilience for threatening events in the future.

I was particularly interested in children and how they learn these skills in childhood and how they develop a sense of confidence, joy and resilience later in life. I was looking at all the perspectives – from those of a child, adult, and animal.


Practitioners who have taken our course have told us how helpful these are for reviewing key concepts and illustrations.

Would you like to get the complete transcript so you can refer back to important concepts as often as you’d like?

When you Register you get the complete version of each element in this short-course:

  • Audio and video links: Downloadable audios and videos so you can watch wherever, whenever
  • TalkBack with the Experts: Get in on this insider’s discussion with the pros. They’ll explain and elaborate on core concepts so you can more easily integrate them into your work
  • Next Week in Your Practice: Short 15-minute video where the pros give you concrete strategies to use immediately
  • QuickStart Guide: A simple, concise guide so you can review specific exercises and techniques at a glance
  • Professional transcripts: Quickly refresh on crucial details and easily refer back to essential information and helpful quotes

We’ve layered this course with these innovative and highly practical learning tools you can use to fully integrate powerful strategies into your life and work. You can register here.