“Effective treatments for trauma involve evoking the fragmented, cognitive, emotional and sensorimotor responses within the patient’s window of tolerance, and facilitating new, adaptive responses which can lead to the integration of past and present, belief and body, emotion and meaning.” – Ogden, Pain & Fisher (2006)
When we have experienced trauma and start to experience some of the symptoms of PTSD; flashbacks, increased heart rate, numbness, dissociation etc, we are experiencing fragmented thought processes, emotional responses and bodily sensations.
These correspond to three areas of the brain; thoughts in the neocortex, emotions in the mammalian brain and survival responses and bodily sensations in the reptilian brain.
In the healing of trauma, we ideally want to have all three areas of the brain ‘online’. This can happen while we are within our ‘window of tolerance’. In this space all parts of the brain are ‘online’ so we can form new narratives which integrate the body, mind and emotions.
In this space the fragments of emotion, the past, the present, feelings, felt sensations and meaning can all be integrated creating healing for the person in a holistic way.
This is delicate work and is best done with a trauma informed therapist, someone who can hold you in your window of tolerance, who is attuned to your process and with whom you can practice co-regulation.
Trauma work takes courage. I honour your courage.
Ogden, P., Pain C., & Fisher, J. (2006). A sensorimotor approach to the treatment of trauma and dissociation. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 29, 263-279