How Somatic Psychotherapy Supports Adults with Early Childhood Trauma
Recent research shows that trauma is not just in your head, and can benefit from an approach that goes beyond talking. In fact, if you've ever talked in circles, trying to work out your issues, you may recognize the way that emotions can go deeper than words. Stress or overwhelm effects your physiological reaction to stress, immune system, and ability to regulate emotions and trust others. When you have experienced things like abuse, neglect, childhood illness or loss of a parent, it is called developmental trauma because it also can effect the way you learn to regulate and organize our emotions, moods, movement, and ways of acting in the world.
Somatic psychotherapy looks at the mind/body relationship together. It recognizes that emotional stress can also contribute to tension or pain in your body. By working with mind and body together, including movement, breath, touch, or the ability to sense internal sensations and feelings, it helps to shift habitual perceptual and physiological feedback loops created under stress. It provides tools to find peace in the present, but also, to safely process challenging material.
Adverse CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES (ACES)
The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, recently commissioned by Kaiser, showed that people who had had one of a number of difficult childhood experiences were way more likely to have emotional challenges, but also, chronic health challenges.
Also important is the work by Bessel Van Der Kolk including the book, The Body Keeps the Score, which discusses the way trauma effects not just your emotional, but also your physical well-being, and how healing from trauma benefits from a mind body approach.