Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
There is an importance of understanding the impact of trauma within the human experience. “Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way mind and brain manage perceptions. It changes not only how we think and what we think about, but also our very capacity to think. We have discovered that helping victims of trauma find the words to describe what has happened to them is profoundly meaningful, but usually it is not enough. The act of telling the story doesn’t necessarily alter the automatic physical and hormonal responses of bodies that remain hypervigilant, prepared to be assaulted or violated at any time. For real change to take place, the body needs to learn that the danger has passed and to live in the reality of the present. Our search to understand trauma has led us to think differently not only about the structure of the mind but also about the processes by which it heals.”
Through this integrated understanding, trauma experts and other professionals within the mental health field can better help those who have been deeply traumatized return to a state of harmony within their own life. Bessel van der Kolk MD., has stated that “We are on the verge of becoming a trauma-conscious society.”
In his book “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.” He speaks about the current understanding of society based on advances within the field of neuroscience. Understanding the complete experience of trauma includes as well an examination of how trauma impacts the body.
He brings forth a well-rounded perspective of what is known about trauma. “I wish I could separate trauma from politics, but as long as we continue to live in denial and treat only trauma while ignoring its origins, we are bound to fail.” By stating this at the end of the book, he is bringing a focus to the greater collective trauma that humanity endures. It’s important to recognize the core roots of the traumas in order to more fully embody a state of healing.
Feature Image: Jared Rice, on Unsplash, Creative Commons