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A Model for Somatic trauma work based on Peter Levine's work

DEALING MINDFULLY WITH TRAUMA

SAFE AND EFFECTIVE TRAUMA HEALING GUIDELINES:

  • Staying grounded in present-moment sense of safety and OKness

  • Gradually, little by little, allowing trauma feelings to be felt, acknowledged and released.

  • ‘Slaloming’ i.e. touching into, but not getting stuck in, Trauma Vortex and Healing Vortex alternately, while regularly renewing connection with present-moment awareness

  • Avoiding the risk of re-traumatisation by coming away from trauma feelings if overwhelm threatens

  • Stabilising by re-connecting with present-moment awareness and accessing resources. i.e. doing whatever it takes to relax and take care of yourself after some trauma feelings have been processed

RISK OF RE-TRAUMATISATION - TO BE AVOIDED:

  • When connection with present-moment awareness is lost and awareness is pulled into the Trauma Vortex, overwhelm occurs e.g. panic attack, terror, catastrophisation.  It’s as if the trauma is happening all over again and then, instead of healing, an extra embodied layer of trauma is created.

  • Trying to avoid awareness of past trauma altogether and stay permanently in the Healing Vortex brings no resolution either and tends to result in a chronic sense of dissociation and unreality.

  • Trauma feelings are intense and powerful by their nature but can be safely processed when approached with awareness, care and respect as outlined above.

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Books on Trauma

  • ‘In an Unspoken Voice.  How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness’ by Peter Levine

  • ‘Waking the Tiger’ by  Peter Levine

  • ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ by Bessel van der Kolk

  • ‘In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts’ by Gabor Mate

  • 'When the Body Says No' by Gabor Mate

  • ‘The Body Remembers’ by Babette Rothschild