Monday, June 18, 2012

An Interview with George Lough, Ph.D., on Somatic Experiencing

Clinical psychologist Dr. George Lough talks about an approach to trauma known as Somatic Experiencing. He says that trauma is really any experience, a life experience, that overwhelms the nervous system's capacity to deal with it. In the healthy nervous system throughout the day, there's kind of a cycle of arousal and relaxation. It looks like a gentle wave going throughout the day. And when you get kind of activated, the sympathetic nervous division of the autonomic nervous system's sympathetic comes into play and gives you energy and makes you responsive and able to do what you need to do. And then the parasympathetic takes over and you go into rest, digestion, sleep. And so that's the normal kind of way the nervous system is acting. If there's a traumatic experience or even just a difficult life experience -- even a child falling off of a bicycle or something like that can count in this. It can cause disruption in the nervous system regulation. So from the healthy regulation nervous system, this traumatic event comes in and it creates fear and anxiety, fear, and a sense that things are not okay, that you have to be on guard, you have to be careful, you have to be worried. And it can create a hyperviligance and a constriction, a feeling of helplessness like you talked about with the dogs. And so your nervous system tends to be stuck on or stuck off. People are in a freeze, and they can't respond. Read on

1 comment:

Marc Rascon said...

Thank you for such an informative blog, I have recently been searching for details about this and yours is the best I have located so far. Nervous system contains two parts: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The first part is made up of the spinal cord and the brain while the second part includes the different neurons of the body. These two systems work together for the body to function smoothly and efficiently. Since both the parts are largely interconnected, one part cannot function without the other.

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