Sunday, August 09, 2015

Being frozen in time

Being frozen in time is essentially what being traumatised means, regardless of what caused the trauma. It is absolutely useless to say to someone, get over it, the past is the past and all the other clich├ęs that are bandied about which essentially just serve to shame a traumatised person that they haven't been able to 'get over it'. As Bessel van der Kolk says "trauma is not an issue of cognition, it's an issue of disordered biological systems". It is why talk therapy, by itself, just doesn't work as well as body based therapies (which include talking as one of their tools). Any effective trauma therapy needs to include the body, it's just ludicrous to leave the body out of the healing equation and mainstream psychiatry and psychology have done exactly that.

This is also why trauma is a uniquely personal and subjective experience. While there are horrific things that go on in this life, comparisons are odious and only serve to minimise and shame some people's experience if they haven't experienced what is supposedly an objective traumatic event, as defined by criterion A1 in the DSM's PTSD criteria (the only diagnosis for someone who has been traumatised, but a PTSD diagnosis does not go anywhere near covering the entire gamut of symptoms traumatised people experience, read more here).

Unfreezing what is frozen is how we resolve our traumas and there are many modalities that can do that. We just need to find the one that feels right for us, and that can change from time to time.

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