Review from last time The Brain is complicated. Three parts- old brain, emotional brain, rational brain. Brain is related to mind but exactly how is unknown Reactions to Trauma are “normal” and protective
Brain Recovering from trauma Recovery from trauma requires effort Effort focuses on NEW thought about traumatic event New Thought created by Rational Brain and perhaps “Something Else” If you can learn a new thing you can think a new thought
Breaking Free Memorializing Aggression Choosing to Live
Emotional brain: limbic system Site of emotions Site of memory storage Automatic reactions: “first alert” alarm system in times of stress and crisis
Trauma: A normal response A normal response to an abnormal situation What is normal and natural about the trauma response?
EmotionalCognitive (thinking) Behavioral (doing) PhysicalSpiritualSocietal Effects Fear Terror Anxiety Panic / Paranoia Anger / Rage Apprehension Depression Vengefulness Shame Guilt Sadness Grief Emotional shock Emotional outbursts Loss of emotional control Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness Feeling numb Irritability COURAGE Confusion Nightmares Hypervigilance Suspiciousness Flashbacks Overly sensitive Difficulty making decisions, spacey Poor concentration Memory problems Shortened attention Critical, blaming Poor problem solving and abstract thinking Preoccupied with the event(s): in- ability to recall all or parts of the event Disoriented to person, place or time Heightened or lowered awareness Withdrawal, including from spouse Overwork Antisocial acts Inability to rest,pacing Hype-alertness Erratic movement Suspiciousness Emotional outbursts Change in speech patterns Increased alcohol/drug use Avoiding places related to the event Difficulty writing or talking Impaired sexual functioning Loss or increase of appetite Feeling clumsy Domestic Violence CARING FOR OTHERS Thirst/dry mouth Twitches Vomiting Weakness Chest pain High BP Rapid heart rate Muscle tremors Visual difficulties Nausea/diarrh ea Shallow breathing Dizziness or faintness Chills or sweating Easily startled Fatigue Changes in appetite Sleep disturbances Headaches Grinding teeth Inability to rest Illness Emptiness Loss of meaning Doubt Feeling unforgiven Martyrdom, feeling punished Looking for magic Loss of direction Cynicism Apathy Needing to “prove”self Alienated Mistrust Crisis of faith GROWTH DEEPER FAITH Resilience Apathy Silence/impaired communication Aggressive behavior Isolation Lack of empathy Denial Low energy/low productivity Inflexibility High rates of alcoholism, drug abuse High rates of (untreated) mental health issues (depression, sexual dysfunction, etc) High rates of stress related health issues (and medication use) Intergenerationa l transmission of pain SPIRITUAL GROWTH, WISDOM
Deeper - Higher - Wider DEEPER HIGHER WIDER ImageryRootsTrunkBranches / Leaves NarrativeVictimSurvivorProvider TaskTending TraumaTranscending TraumaTransforming Trauma JourneyInwardUpwardOutward FocusDeals with PastDeals with PresentDeals with Future Needs/FindsComfortChallengeCause
Traumatized or Trauma-wise? The traumatized say, “Never Again.” And they “do what it takes” to protect themselves. The trauma-wise say, “Never Again to me, to us----or to anyone else.” And they work to make this a reality. (“Trauma- wise” term by Barry Hart)
The “OLD thoughts” are easy Reaction to trauma or aggression doesn’t require thinking, Why? Neopallium (New Brain) Palliopallium (Limbic System) Archipallium (Lizard Brain) Function of Lizard Brain is protection Includes structures necessary for fear, breathing, and smell Feel emotion first then think
“New Thought” actions Accepting loss Confronting Fears Understanding root causes Tolerance/Coexistenc e Engaging Offender Choosing to forgive Establishing justice ALL HIGHER BRAIN FUNCTIONS of the NEOCORTEX including the Medial Pre-frontal Cortex
Creating “New Thought” is not easy. New Thinking is recognizing Current thinking as not necessarily the “truth” Distinguish true vs. truth New Thinking is “unlearning” habitual thoughts Changing a simple behavioral habit requires at least 6 weeks (synaptic plasticity) New Thinking requires pro-action not re- action.
The role of “something else” How can faith assist the creation and maintaining of a “new thought?”