Embodied Trauma Conference - Free, Online, 3-10 Feb, 2020

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Blueberry

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Re: Embodied Trauma Conference - Free, Online, 3-10 Feb, 2020
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2020, 11:58:45 PM »
I also took notes on Ale Duarte's talk on Child Trauma during Natural Disaster.

This healing from trauma due to natural disasters can also be used for healing children with 'smaller' non-natural disaster trauma. Some of the work is based on Peter Levine's methods.

The perception of the suffering child and what is in their nervous system is what counts. Children are more susceptible to trauma but they also have good adaptive skills. They can recover especially well through play. The speaker gave earthquake as an example. 80% recover immediately. 10% of children will be crying and trembling and 10% will turn to violence. Those two groups need to be re-centered with the other 80% of the children. The speaker regularly works with groups of children in different countries, so his stats are based on this rather than just theory. He was shown working with children where there had been a tsunami. The children were grouped around a parachute which was 'imitating' a wave. The children were playing with it and so were exposed to the trauma in a controlled way and learning to self-regulate.

In a country like Syria, there is ongoing trauma and also a human-made disaster, so there is much more frustration than in a natural disaster.

Children have natural resilience skills; often it is adults (parents) who don't see this. Children self-regulate through play, so definitely let them play and/or run around.

The speaker sees a child with their conflict and wonders what in their experience makes conflict-solving difficult. Being able to solve the past conflict creates self-regulation and allows child to keep on going solving day-to-day conflicts which creates more and more self-regulation. You then get emergent patterns of resilience in the child. otoh if the parents are unregulated in their response and/or don't show a constructive mindset, a child may take the lead and try and take care of the parents.

In a case of non-man-made trauma, the whole community takes care of each other. Good to teach the family about central nervous system instead of therapising the family.

When is it the right time to intervene? Some children react with overly high energy and others with overly low energy. Overly high energy means their nervous systems are over-stimulated and they turn this energy into aggression / fight. Overly low energy their nervous system is under-stimulated, they go more towards depression, feeling powerless, "I give up". Neither reaction is necessarily immediately apparent. On the contrary, it's more that the energy of the over-stimulated goes up and up and they can't bring themselves back down again to the middle road of resilience. Also generally people reach a point where they feel optimism and gratitude and they hope to stay in that feeling, but they don't. After the gratitude/optimism phase come blame, rage, sadness, grief etc. If you can come back up out of that, then you reach acceptance and resilience. So it's actually immediately after gratitude/optimism where you have to be on the lookout and not assume that that stage is equal to healing. Children who go the low-energy route might show symptoms like feeling weak, feeling a loss of power, stomach ache. Generally a fear of their own reactions and sensations.

Some people feel immortal, invincible, immune before a traumatic event while others may feel vulnerable, unsafe, fearful.

Rushed children cannot communicate so adults need to get out of their sense of urgency.

Behind games, including totally normal ones like hide-and-seek there are hidden skills for the adult world, e.g. ability to go in and out of a situation or in and out of inner and outer world. Children re-enact through play.

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During the discussion on the right time to intervene, I thought quite a lot of my experience in FOO because B1 went the high energy route including the aggression and fighting and I went the low energy route. This part of the discussion was also more geared to non-natural-event trauma. I see myself still very much in the low energy symptoms and I see FOO generally in the non-constructive mindset, e.g. I was very often rushed as a child, I wasn't given a chance to communicate. I wish I'd written my notes on here closer to the time, I would have been able to make better sense of them for others and for myself.

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Snowdrop

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Re: Embodied Trauma Conference - Free, Online, 3-10 Feb, 2020
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2020, 06:27:29 AM »
Thank you for adding these notes, Blueberry. I didn't get a chance to watch the sessions, and your notes are useful.

I very much relate to your words in the final paragraph. In my FOO, I can see that HB went the high energy route with aggression, rage and blame. I went the low energy route with powerlessness and depression -- possibly because I didn't want to be like HB. My parents response was unregulated. Your notes have helped me see this, so thank you. :hug:

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Blueberry

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Re: Embodied Trauma Conference - Free, Online, 3-10 Feb, 2020
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2020, 07:18:24 PM »
You're welcome, Snowdrop. I'm glad my notes helped someone other than myself.