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28 Comments

  1. anonymous Greninger, Coach, fort collins , CO, USA says

    Wait..so if the insula is offline then the client can’t feel in the body & is dissociated from the body & the video suggests that somatic approaches are the place to start. If that is the case it doesn’t make sense to start somatically when the client can not feel their body. Right? It can feel threatening or dangerous for the client to feel the body or shame might appear because they try and cant. So the amygdala is not feeling relaxed or safe. I think its important to acknowledge that the body may not be the place to start for all clients and that clients need to feel safe. How safety comes can be different for each client. Some other supports might be needed 1st like a comforting attachment with the therapist( vagus nerve letting the brain know its safe) for the amygdala to start to calm enough to then activate the insula to feel in the body and get the nervous system to regulate even more & the client feels sense of somatic experience, movement, embodiment.

  2. Ja, Another Field, GB says

    If the body doesn’t feel safe the mind can’t mend/heal/repair. Working with the nervous system is essential for recovery from physical as well as mental injuries or trauma. Trauma is both a physical and mental (psychological and emotional) experience. The body and mind can not be treated totally separately. The mind over matter approach can do great harm unless it allows for connecting with physical feelings of safety, stability and security.

  3. Anonymous, Psychotherapy, NL says

    Hmmm, I think it is very vague about the Hyppocampus, just training memory and thoughts. Curious what that is because my experience is that without looking closely into the internal system, you will not have the longterm positive result of healing. The negative thoughts, the polarized reactivity and the identification with that reactivity is still there. Can’t imagine how this would work, but the clip is not saying anything about how to handle this phase exept that it’s about memory and reliving the trauma. I hope she doesn’t mean exposure therapy. Not very enthustiastic about this.

  4. Diana Flam, Counseling, AU says

    Fabulous article thank you so much for this clarity about what happens in a more scientific way. Fear centre and Feeling internal experience how these become disconnected. So thus an understanding and feeling into what the body is doing and what it’s telling us. Fabulous teaching and heart to mind healing

  5. Amanda Tuohy, Psychotherapy, USA says

    Nice work! For those interested, in addition to yoga therapy and other somatic therapy such as sensorimotor psychotherapy…check out Dance/Movement Therapy for even more information pertaining to the above. Another aspect of movement and bottom-up processing. DMTs are found all over the world! You may even have one near you, or a training center near you, to ask for more information, if interested. DMT (or AR-DMT) is a Masters degree, but there are alternate routes (AR-DMT) for those with training in somatics/movement that also are a licensed clinical therapist or licensed clinical social worker. Also seek more information at: http://www.ADTA.org.

  6. Suzanne Opperman, Nursing, MO, USA says

    Very helpful and clear.

  7. Kelly Wilkinson, Social Work, CA says

    Love how Dr. Sweeton concisely links brain structures with function re: process of healing from trauma. Thanks!

  8. Jane Arthur, Psychotherapy, Land O Lakes, FL, USA says

    Thank you for the clarifying overview to light the path for our client’s
    hero’s journey. Very helpful information to develop regulation from the body up. This is good information for both pace and sequencing to support the growth of capacity to manage and contain the trauma.
    Thank you.

  9. frederick casucci, Social Work, USA says

    I am an LCSW and suffer from OCD. I am in Jungian psychoanalysis for over 2 years now. It has been very helpful and I realize there is no cure. I am beginning to see the relationship between guilt (fear of having done something wrong), the trauma (punishment) and the fear of my anger and losing control so I no longer will be traumatized by punishment; this all happened in infancy. For maybe the first time, I feel like I am beginning to objectify my complex. It is indeed hard work. Also, the words of Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet are so healing – “Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in the deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” I hope this helps.

  10. Velandy Manohar, Psychotherapy, Haddam, CT, USA says

    This is best, clearest, and fundamentally accurate account of the recovery process and what can be accomplished by a systematic evidence-based strategy incorporating the various disciplines. of medicine, psychology that can achieve very beneficial results by implementing particular modalities in a sequential set of combination top down and bottom-up techniques. Thank you very much for putting out this valuable information which builds on Dr Van Der Kolk’s landmark findings in “Body Keeps score” Velandy Manohar, MD., Distinguished Life fellow, Am Psychiatric Assoc. [APA] Founding Member of Psychotherapy caucus of the APA. Founding member of the Community Resilience Collaborative of Middlesex County of CT

  11. Robert Cable, Counseling, Gilbert, AZ, USA says

    Very interesting, liked the progression she described. I found myself more focused on the information being shared than feeling activated by her being “aggressive of energy” or feeling like the presentation was about “doing to”. Whatever technique I am using with clients, the focus is just that, “using with.

    I would be interested in a NICAB course with her work as the centerpiece.

  12. Marcia, Marriage/Family Therapy, WA, USA says

    Great, this is exactly what the client needs as the skepticism is challenged in the news regarding mental health that many felt happy to work until lately when they are put down for going into therapy. Love the brain discussion here. Have been doing this all along but lately there is a skepticism due to people wanting to capitalize for their system instead of working on collaboration as they do at the NICABM and why I have been so enamored by the strategy more often than not. Thanks for this push to link.

    Changes generations of ignoring the autonomic nervous system has caused a deficit in our way of seeing the world and our relationship to it. Groups helped that along my way to see what was collaborative and what needed to be changed, especially when doing developmental training in parenting groups and all the wonderful intrauterine knowledge growing to help those early childhood experiences.

    Once again I am pleased and energized as we enter into 2022 for hope to augment our trauma work with the skeptical clients and aide the ones already on board, which is what I experience to give deeper understanding to the healing. It is so much better to have more science behind what we know works. Thanks for the further nuanced enlightenment.

  13. Georgette Wells, Social Work, Dallas, TX, USA says

    Very clear, helpful information. Thank you

  14. Shelley Malka, Other, IL says

    Excellent short video. Very compact and clear. Thank you.

  15. E Calm, Psychotherapy, GB says

    The way this person is describing things comes across as a ‘doing to’ approach. As in, ‘here are some techniques to do to your patient’s brain to make them process trauma’. I certainly wouldn’t want to subject anyone to such a non-relational approach. Instead I would want to attune sensitively moment-by-moment to what’s needed.

    • Aida L Redondo, Marriage/Family Therapy, Tampa, FL, USA says

      I feel and think along with you, Bracha Goetz.

    • Judith Drouin, Marriage/Family Therapy, Ventura, CA, USA says

      Actually the techniques are to be used within the context and presence of relationship with the therapist. And of course always being attuned to where the client is in the moment. Then it all works!
      Judith Drouin LMFT, Private Practice

  16. Bracha Goetz, Health Education, Baltimore, MD, USA says

    GREAT!

  17. Mercedes Franco, VE says

    Thanks for share. This is a enlightement video, a clear guide to progress step by step with our patients. I enjoy travelling in the brain and working with calm and compassion, in presence to connect and solve the traumatized human being.

  18. VT m, Another Field, NZ says

    Moving client to parasympathetic system ( making them mindful) and moving their awareness into their inner body are all great things to do. Teaching them how to get out of the trap of being totally mind identified( ego).

    Another point to effective treating of trauma is do they feel safe ? Are they calm in office , but leaving the office they start to freak out with fresh trauma( creating dependence -addiction to therapy). Are clients media mind programmed to live in a media-verse with a polarized “threat based” world perception feeling safe?

    Are they being re-triggered by media( memes) daily ?
    Collectively I feel we’ve all been ( re)traumatized. Just watch the news, we have a corporate media that amplifies unconsciousness daily.
    Is the new narrative you create with them trying to repress the actual past .

    All trauma needs to be healed with awareness IE the client feeling safe and being able to be the witness of what happened in the past ( knowing it is in the past, just a memory) remembering it as the observer of the past . That is what making clients mindful can do, but dont try to create a false new narrative or try to distort the past. Just let them know the importance and significance of trying to dwell in the present moment( NOW).
    On a positive note definitely building more awareness (and getting out of the conditioned mind ) and into the inner body is great practice for everyone.

    • CARRI MCKOWN, Other, Prescott, AZ, USA says

      Very astute. Thank you for sharing!

  19. Sooze Flery, Stress Management, San Diego, CA, USA says

    You left out the benefits of Thought Field Therapy and or EFT

    • Katrina Wood, Psychology, Los Angeles , CA, USA says

      Pretty stressful just to listen to –

      • E Calm, Psychotherapy, GB says

        Yes, her tone is very stressful!

      • Amanda Blain, Psychology, Littleton, CO, USA says

        Agreed

        • JoAnn Hobson, VT, USA says

          Yes, agreed. I hope she gets this feedback. And at the same time, excellent content.