Transformational Wholebody Focusing
and Working Through Trauma-patterns
“it has its own life. When it takes over and has a life of its own.” These lines have been taken from recent therapy sessions with clients as we have identified and brought more to awareness how traumatized inner beings operate . They poignantly express the felt quality that these places live in their own world, seemingly cut off from the current environment as well as the ordinary sense of self from which we tend to live. All of us in different ways are affected by events and situations that we can call “traumatic” or put another way, stressors that have traumatizing effects within our living organism. The effects of trauma are greatly amplified when early life environments expose the developing organism to acute or prolonged stress that overwhelm the system beyond what it is capable of handling. The traumatic impact of the world is especially harrowing when the early life environment (parents/ family/ community) that is supposed to provide shelter, support, nurturance, safety becomes itself the source of severe and continual stress- e.g. abuse, violence, neglect, loss, etc. The infant organism experiences and ‘stores’ the impact of the trauma in ways that allow it to survive, to compensate for the lack of safety, protection and soothing- which form the very fabric and texture of our bodily being in the world. The patterns that are laid down tend to remain as background and as that out of which we live, ways of being that form early that they simply feel like “who we are,” and “how the world is.”
What is traumatic is not just the events or environments in themselves, but an interaction of a sensitive and undeveloped organism that is not prepared or ready for what happens, and where the stress is so acute and/or chronic that it alters/impairs/stops the healthy development of the organism. Events that are traumatic can be one-time occurrences or, more usually, are chronic stressors that cause long-term impact in our very ways of being in the world. As we will explore, what maintains the field of trauma patterns is that at its core, horrific events and situations result in the essential parts of ourselves either not developing, remaining hidden or lost, or being given away. In addition, they are the effects that include carrying the energy, spirit, or soul of another in our own being. This includes the transmission of inter-generational trauma including deeply rooted beliefs, suffering, and pains that have never been examined, challenged, or released.