Denise Evans, Clinical Counsellor

April 20, 2010

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In Nora Isaacs’ article, “The cutting edge of trauma treatment: healing through the body,” she discusses how trauma is generally described as an event or situation that threatens ones life or ones physical integrity. After experiencing trauma a person may become hypervigilent or aroused, or can have trouble connecting with ones own experience or with others. Recent research indicates that during traumatic events the speech centre and the part of the brain that process the present moment both shut down, hence people’s difficulty in understanding what has happened or being able to put it into words. At the same time the heart rate and blood pressure go up in response to the body being dumped full of cortisol and adrenaline. Because of our growing understanding of the effects of trauma on the mind and body, leaders in the field, such as Bessel van der Kolk recommend that treatment for trauma combine a physical, body centred focus with talk therapy so that the person can experience a gentle, centred, relaxed focused state and begin to directly heal the physical effects (and therefore the mental effects) of the trauma.

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