Posts Tagged ‘PTSD’

Making new positive experiences

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Recognize that we are perfect at our core, our soul, our true self. The one permanent condition we all share.

 

Accept our physical bodies and the ego we create, are flawed and change as time passes.

 

We all are worthy, deserving of wellbeing and happiness.

 


In this moment, right now, I approve of all of me.

 

Never say a negative thing about yourself, never entertain an unworthy thought.

 

Become your own best friend!

 

Practice, practice, practice!
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Alienation from Self: part two

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The introduction of the Structural Dissociation model in 2000 provided the first neuroscientific understanding of dissociative splitting and compartmentalization (Van der Hart et al., 2000).

 

Unlike earlier models of dissociative fragmentation, this theory does not emphasize the compartmentalization of memory.

 

Instead, its central tenet is that structural dissociation is a survival-oriented adaptive response to the specific demands of traumatic environments, facilitating a left brain-right brain split that supports the disowning of “not me” or trauma-related parts and the ability to function without awareness of having been traumatized.

 

The splitting also supports development of parts driven by animal defenses that serve the cause of survival in the face of danger.
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My two cents:  This is a cutting edge approach in response to the PTSD epidemic.  The VA needs to adopt this approach, now!

 

The behavior of some traumatized parts is about survival to a non-existent lethal threat.

 


If we believe we are in real danger, PTSD will gain enormous power over us.

 

 

We must learn to discount then disown these judgments.
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Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Alienation from Self: part one

Vincent Van Gogh

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How We Survive Overwhelming Experience, sets the stage by describing dissociative splitting and fragmentation as an adaptive response to abnormal experience.

 

 

To create distance from overwhelming events and preserve a sense of “a good me,” individuals must disown the self-states of which they are ashamed, intimidated, or experience as “not-me,” allowing them to also disown the trauma (Bromberg, 2011).

 

 

The ability to encode two parallel sets of experiences in one brain and body is supported by the “split-brain research” in the 1970s and 1980s (Gazzaniga, 1985) and by the neuroscience brain scan research in the late 1990s and 2000s demonstrating how traumatic events come to be encoded as implicit emotional and physical states, rather than being encoded in the form of chronological narrative.
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My Two cents: The new therapies address trauma by looking at the different parts of us and which hemisphere the parts originate from.

 

Some of our behavior are an adaptive response to survive.

 

We need to learn to discount these traumatized parts as a response, not who we are.

 

That confusing fight happening internally can be explained and integrated with daily work.

 

We need not fix our old trauma, but make healthy new experiences to replace the old.

 

It comes down to awareness, then acceptance without judgment to move forward.
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Evaluate your attachments

 

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Attachment is about feeding the “Ego”.

 

We search for relevancy and importance.

 

We crave value and approval, incessantly.

 

We are always chasing pleasure that we associate with happiness.

 

Frustration sets in when pleasure fades.

 

Fulfilling desires and needs does not quench our souls for long.

 

Looking for happiness in external things ends in suffering and confusion.

 

Try something different, be satisfied with yourself just as you are.

 

Look inside and introduce yourself.

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The Mind Thinks All by Itself

 

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“The Need to Please”:
As you practice mindfulness, you may realize that the mind thinks all by itself.

 

You don’t even have to try to think; thoughts just arise, and they can be quite powerful.

 

For example, let’s say you notice that your friend has a scowl on her face and is speaking in a short, curt tone.


Without you consciously deciding to think about this, the mind says, Geez, I wonder what I did to upset her?


Perhaps this is followed by I must have done something wrong.

 

The next thought may be See? I can’t seem to do anything right. I’m just worthless.
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“Fragmentation and Internal Struggles”. Part 2


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The theoretical model that best explained the phenomena they described was the Structural Dissociation model of Onno van der Hart, Ellert Nijenhuis, and Kathy Steele (2004).

 


Rooted in a neuroscience perspective and well-accepted throughout Europe as a trauma model, it was a good fit for me as a firm believer and spokesperson for a neurobiologically informed approach to trauma and trauma treatment.

 


The theory describes (Van der Hart, Nijenhuis & Steele, 2006) how the brain’s innate physical structure and two separate, specialized hemispheres facilitate left brain-right brain disconnection under conditions of threat.

 


Capitalizing on the tendency of the left brain to remain positive, task-oriented, and logical under stress, these writers hypothesized that the disconnected left brain side of the personality stays focused on the tasks of daily living, while the other hemisphere fosters an implicit right brain self that remains in survival mode, braced for danger, ready to run, frozen in fear, praying for rescue, or too ashamed to do anything but submit.

 

 

In each individual client, I could see that some parts were easier to identify with or “own” and some parts were easier to ignore or dismiss as “not me.”
Internally, the parts were also in conflict: was it safer to freeze or fight? To cry for help? Or to be seen and not heard?

 


What I also noticed was that the internal relationships between these fragmented aspects of self reflected the traumatic environments for which they had once been solutions.

 


The left-brain-dominant present-oriented self avoids the right-brain-dominant survival-oriented parts or judges them as bad qualities to be modified, while the right brain implicit selves of the parts are equally alienated from what they perceive as a “weak” or absent other half.

 


The functioning self carries on, trying desperately to be “normal”—at the cost of feeling alienated from or invaded by the intrusive communications of the parts.

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A great explanation of our inner world: Part 1; “Fragmentation and Internal Struggles”.

“Healing the fragmented selves of trauma survivors”
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Ten years ago, in the context of consulting with traumatized clients who came to me as an “expert,” seeking to understand why they were not making progress in treatment, I began to observe a very characteristic pattern: these clients had something unique in common.

 

Each was superficially an integrated whole person but also manifested clear-cut signs of being internally fragmented.

 

They experienced intense conflicts between trauma-related perceptions and impulses (for example, “the worst is going to happen,” “I will be abandoned if I don’t get out first”) versus here-and-now assessments of danger: “I know I’m safe here.

 


I wouldn’t let my children live in this house if it were not safe.” They suffered from paradoxical symptoms: the desire to be kind and compassionate toward others or to live a spiritual life, on the one hand, and intense rage or even impulses to violence, on the other.

 

Once their conflicts were described, the patterns became more easily observable and meaningful.

 

Each side of the conflict spoke to a different way of surviving the unsurvivable, of reconciling the opposites that are so often part and parcel of traumatic experience.

 

With an explanatory model that described each reaction as logical and necessary in the face of threat or abandonment and that reframed them as the survival responses of different parts of the self, to which the individual could relate, each client started to make faster, more sustainable progress.

 

The theoretical model that best explained the phenomena they described was the Structural Dissociation model of Onno van der Hart, Ellert Nijenhuis, and Kathy Steele (2004).

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