The Body Comes to Therapy Too
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Current research reveals that trauma often cannot be resolved solely through interventions that utilize left-brain functions, such as those used in traditional talk therapy. Because trauma is actually something that happens deep in the core of the brain and the body, the most effective treatment approaches integrate traditional therapy modalities with those that focus on calming the nervous system such as yoga, mindfulness, imagery, expressive arts, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. This paper will focus on synthesizing current information on traumatic stress, the neurobiology of trauma, and evidence-based, body-integrative interventions provided within the framework of the Collaborative Change Model (CCM) (Barrett in The systemic treatment of incest. Taylor & Francis, Bristol, 1989; Treating complex trauma: a relational blueprint for collaboration and change. Rutledge, New York, 2014). Through the framework of the CCM, this paper will provide clinicians with an understanding of how and when to engage clients in body–mind approaches, how to help clients learn to recognize when they are in fight, flight, or freeze response patterns, and how to develop skills for managing emotional dysregulation. A detailed case study will be provided to illustrate this integrative approach in the treatment of trauma.
KeywordsPsychotherapy Trauma Neurobiology Mind–body interventions Yoga
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