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Trauma Processing: When and When Not?

Odelya Gertel Kraybill Ph.D., ‘Trauma Processing: When and When Not?’, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/expressive-trauma-integration/201804/trauma-processing-when-and-when-not, Psychology Today (Apr 11, 2018)

Trauma in the body

Trauma is stored somatically, that is, in the body. Its most disruptive consequences play out in sensory networks, the nervous system and the vagus nerve that connect many parts of the body including the brain and the gut. We have to involve all of those systems to get to the root of trauma. (…) Traumatic memories reside as frozen experiences within. (…) Trauma puts survivors on constant high alert, a survival response useful to protect against additional trauma. But this sense of alertness also blocks access to the deep roots of trauma in the body. (…) Research has found that telling the trauma story is ineffective in bringing relief from symptom of trauma and sometimes can be harmful (retraumatizing). (…) Only after a client has been able to achieve a reduction in the alertness that typically follows trauma and a strengthened awareness of resources for coping with stress should we consider strategies that directly deal with the trauma story.

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