Resources for Trauma Geeks (like me!)

Our primary needs as a human being are that of connection and safety.  Relationship is all about empathy and connection.  We live in a disconnected society and we need to delve deep into the way the broader social culture works now. It is dysfunctional. We need connection within ourselves and connections with others.  We are social creatures. We need to co-regulate with others and this creates resilience. The work we are doing in the community is about enabling people to gently and compassionately inquire into their childhood, the ways they were parented and their personal trauma history and listen to and respect the wisdom of the body. That we are who we are and we often need to remember that, have empathy for ourselves and to deeply know ourselves. In so doing, we can learn to pick up the body's subtle clues and tap into the neuroception and felt sense of safety.  This overrides whatever our thinking brain wants to make us do! If we are able to hold ourselves in compassion then we will also have that for others.  What a difference we can make to our family and friends in that way!  

We are finding more and more that people are waking up to how trauma arises as a result of disconnection.  We live in a deeply disconnected world!  Gradually, Public Health is recognising trauma is at the core of our mental and physical public health crisis across many cultures and that the majority of this trauma is relational.  Sharon Stanley talks about relational trauma in this podcast

Science, spirituality and philosophy converge with experiences of trauma.  The idea that trauma interrupts human development and that we need to regain a sense of safety to move through the trauma is something explored by Donald Kalsched in his work.  The body needs to feel safe (and that is not necessarily the removal of threat).     

We humans are dependent upon cues from another that we are safe in the environment.  Having said that, there is similarly a misunderstanding about trauma within society and the medical community and we want you to join us in raising awareness.  There are some amazing people doing great work and here are just a few resources and snippets to help you understand just how important it is for us to understand and to inspire you into action.

I find the science fascinating and love this interview with Dr Stephen Porges to explore the Polyvagal Theory and how the conversation with Jayson Gaddis explores how this impacts our relationships, the importance of play in our lives and how our hierarchical autonomic nervous system works in relation to safety, love, oxytocin and much more! I am personally very aware of my response to loud sounds because of my PTSD.  This is covered here too as is the way our physiology works in relation to defence.  The interview also explores how cues from the voice, facial expression and all the aspects of the social engagement system are so key in relational situations.  How often have you felt that someone's tone of voice was triggering for you? That your threat response is activated and yet you are not sure why or how? There are many ways we feel a charge energetically. Depending upon our life experiences, some of us will swoon and relax at the sound of melodic sounds and prosody? Music will move you - literally - whilst for some people who might have experienced being left or neglecting when soft music was playing (as a baby, perhaps) are likely to have an unconscious dislike for similar music and find it triggering. Relationally, when we are in somatic empathy and co-regulating with each other then we are in health, growth and restoration.

I absolutely love Dr Gabor Mate's work too.  I can and do listen to his talks often because of his wisdom, sincerity and humility.  Here is his talk on the vast denial of our culture and misunderstanding about trauma.  His books are here as are lots of other resources.
On why relationships are hard (and can also be traumatic) here is a brilliant TedTalk by Stan Tatkin.  

"It's not the drugs... it's the adverse childhood experiences" is an interesting article about the links between trauma and addictive behaviours.  

It is so important that we also acknowledge how neglect during childhood is often the most serious form of trauma and if left unresolved will then play out in our adult lives.  By neglect I mean physical and also emotional.  This is when we move into the area of cruel, authoritarian or inattentive parenting or caregiving ... I can feel a whole new blog coming on!

Keep checking as I will post more resources over the next few weeks.  Glad you are here!

Thought provoking Steve Gupwell
Wellbeing Champion and our resident thought challenger

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