Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy
The body, for a host of reasons, has been left out of the "talking cure."Psychotherapists who have been trained in models of psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, or cognitive therapeutic approaches are skilled at listening to the language and affect of the client. They track the clients' associations, fantasies, and signs of psychic conflict, distress, and defenses. Yet while the majority of therapists are trained to notice the appearance and even the movements of the client's body, thoughtful engagement with the client's embodied experience has remained peripheral to traditional therapeutic interventions. Trauma and the Body is a detailed review of research in neuroscience, trauma, dissociation, and attachment theory that points to the need for an integrative mind-body approach to trauma. The premise of this book is that, by adding body-oriented interventions to their repertoire, traditionally trained therapists can increase the depth and efficacy of their clinical work. Sensorimotor psychotherapy is an approach that builds on traditional psychotherapeutic understanding but includes the body as central in the therapeutic field of awareness, using observational skills, theories, and interventions not usually practiced in psychodynamic psychotherapy. By synthesizing bottom-up and top down interventions, the authors combine the best of both worlds to help chronically traumatized clients find resolution and meaning in their lives and develop a new, somatically integrated sense of self.
Topics addressed include: Cognitive, emotional, and sensorimotor dimensions of information processing • modulating arousal • dyadic regulation and the body • the orienting response • defensive subsystems • adaptation and action systems • treatment principles • skills for working with the body in present time • developing somatic resources for stabilization • processing
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ability abuse action systems action tendencies activation adaptive amygdala anterior cingulate gyrus arms arousal attachment attention autonomic awareness become behavior beliefs body sensations bottom-up brain caregiver child chronic cognitive distortions consciousness context cortex countertransference defensive action defensive responses described develop dissociative dysregulated effects emotional environment evoked example experienced exploration feel felt fixed action patterns freezing functioning goals Hart help clients hyper hyperarousal hypoarousal immobilizing implicit memory impulses increased infant information processing integrative capacity internal interventions Janet Kolk legs levels limbic system maladaptive ment mental mind mobilizing defenses movement Nijenhuis observed orbitofrontal cortex organization orienting response past patterns person phase physical actions pleasure posture PTSD reactions reflexive relationship rience Schore sense sensorimotor psychotherapy sensory sexual social engagement system somatic resources somatic sense spine stimuli sympathetic nervous system symptoms tension thalamus therapeutic therapist therapy threat tion top-down trauma-related traumatic event traumatic experience traumatic memory traumatized clients traumatized individuals treatment window of tolerance