Emotional Trauma Recovery with Somatic Touch and SE
Adults with Childhood Trauma
Adults with Childhood Trauma and Development Trauma ( prenatal/postnatal/in utero )
You, as an adult somehow, deep inside know that something was missing growing up. How?
Because in your family, you were taught not to have your voice, not to express your nature, not to show up because it was just something you had to do to adapt, adjust or survive. Not expressing your needs, you have developed a toxic inner critic, shame, or anger. Traumatic and early painful events in the family were just minimized, discarded, and never addressed. Or you were never seen and heard by your parents, and they might be very good people you cared about or still do. You might be under mothered, or under fathered.
Now, as an adult, you can develop skills to see, embrace, and heal your inner SELF. You can learn to give yourself a voice and the right to be heard, seen, and been valued which wasn’t done by your parents. You will learn to be seen and nurtured by YOU — the most important person. The time of self-abandonment will slowly but surely end once you move from state of freeze, flight or fight.
How does it work?
Mother wounds and father wounds can follow you all your adult life. The wound can be caused by:
- Neglect – I am unimportant
- Absence – Divorce, separation, death
- Abuse – Mental, physical, sexual, spiritual
- Control – Oppressive authoritarian domination
- Withholding – Love, blessings and affirmation, deficiencies that lead to a profound lack of self-acceptance
Very slowly and at your own pace, and only when you feel ready, you will learn to embrace and heal your body and restore your nervous system so you can start feel safe inside of yourself.
Steps we take.
We will meet, embrace, accept, heal, and celebrate your inner self and many other parts in you and rolls you had in each development stage of your childhood through Somatic lens. This is a long time coming but also the most profound healing work you will do for yourself. Trauma was kept in your nervous system and your body and you will learn to build somatic resiliency and understand how your body was reacting to trauma symptoms.
Take a look at Trauma Symptoms which are in old books called Depression Symptoms. Depression is an adaptation to your emotional trauma, and it is a normal response to abnormal situations you lived.
Most people think of depression as synonymous with sadness, but depression/trauma symptoms can manifest itself in many ways that may not be apparent to the untrained eye, such as:
- Lethargy, fatigue or loss of energy
- Loss of interest, lack of motivation, lack of pleasure
- Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
- Hypersomnia or increased need for sleep
- Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
- Weight loss or weight gain not due to dieting or exercise
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
- Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration over small matters
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or self-injurious behaviors (e.g., cutting)*
- Thoughts of death or suicide*
- difficult time with emotions — experiencing them, controlling them, and for many, just being able to comprehend or label them accurately
- you still feel as you are a child even you might be 40 or 50 years old. Still waiting for “older” people or “abuser” approval and permission to do things or start living life.
- lost sense of self because of interrupted identity development. It is hard for you to say what you like and dislike. It’s hard for you to identify your needs and your boundaries
- you feel uncomfortable when someone cries in your presence
- you are uncomfortable crying yourself
- self-judgment and judgment of others is common
- it is hard to open up even to your close friends, or therapist
- you tend to expect rejection around every corner
Symptoms, signs and effects you have Mother Wound:
- (For females) constantly comparing yourself with, and competing against, other females
- Sabotaging yourself when you experience happiness or success
- Possessing weak boundaries and an inability to say “no”
- Self-blaming and low self-esteem that manifests itself as the core belief: “There is something wrong with me”
- Co-dependency in relationships
- Minimizing yourself to be likable and accepted
- The inability to speak up authentically and express your emotions fully
- Sacrificing your dreams and desires for other people unnecessarily
- Waiting for your mother’s permission on an unconscious level to truly live life
Symptoms, signs, and effects you have Father Wound:
- you have feelings of agitation, anger, and frustration as predominant feelings
- addiction and numbing out with alcohol, sex, substance use, food or work
- prestige, object possession, money gives you a “proof” of worthiness
- road rage
- you find it impossible to trust anyone in authority
- poor self-esteem, immature rage, and aggression towards others
- hard to open up with your partner or make a connection with your kids
- hard to feel, or say out loud how vulnerable and in pain you feel
- you are ashamed to ask for help or get emotional in front of others
- you don’t like feeling needy
- people tell you that you come across as distant, arrogant or rigid
- you don’t like the feeling that someone really needs you
- you have a fear of rejection which leads to perfectionism or people pleasing and approval seeking or dismissiveness
- you hate, dislike or you can not trust the majority of the male population
**Please call 911 immediately if you are having thoughts of harming yourself in any way**
How does Somatic Transforming Touch work for Development Trauma?
Transforming Touch is an attachment-focused, neurophysiological treatment utilizing hands-on healing for Developmental Trauma using specific somatic protocols. Transforming Touch crosses the barriers of non-verbal and recognizes that through regulation, the client can begin to change their story about their non-verbal, early trauma and gain greater capacity.
Early trauma tends to bind up in the body, in the muscles and organs and especially in the fascia. Transforming Touch® Therapists show up in session to repair the early ruptures through building a trusting relationship with the client and the client’s body. Not focusing on a particular problem or pathology, just focusing on the client and their regulation system. We know through this focus and presence the client’s body begins to change at a cellular level. Never is the opportunity missed to repair any early ruptures that show up during the session.
What Can Be Treated
- Primitive Reflexes
What are Primitive Reflexes?
Primitive reflexes are automatic movements that provide essential responses through the birth process and after birth. When the birth and the early months go right, these primitive reflexes integrate into the system and are replaced with more adult reflexes to assist in maneuvering the world safely. The brainstem directs the primitive reflexes and require no cortical intervention or thought to show up and later integrate. These primitive reflexes are vital for survival in the new frontier called life. As the higher and more sophisticated centers of the brain come online and develop, these early reflexes that don’t integrate or show signs of retention become ruptures in the natural development of the child and can carry over into adulthood. This is know as prenatal and perinatal trauma, birth trauma.
- Moro Reflex: This reflex acts as the baby’s “fight or flight” response to the world. This important reflex usually integrates into the adult startle response by four months. Some signs of retention are emotional immaturity, lack of impulse control, hypersensitivity or hypo-sensitivity, sensory overload, and social immaturity.
- Rooting Reflex: Stroking a baby’s cheek will cause the child to turn and open the mouth. This is the automatic response to turn towards food. This helps with breastfeeding. Usually disappears by four months. Some signs of retention are thumb sucking, picking eater, speech and articulation problems, and dribbling.
- Palmer Reflex: This is the automatic flexing of the fingers to grab an object if the palm is stimulated. This reflex should integrate by six months. Some signs of retention are messy handwriting, poor manual dexterity, and difficulty with fine motor skills.
- Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (ATNR): This is intricate for the baby through the birth canal and to develop cross pattern movements. The ATNR is seen when you lay a baby on its back and turn their head. The arm and leg on the side the child is looking at should extend while the opposite side bends. This response should end by six months. Without integration shows up as poor handwriting, trouble crossing vertical midline, poor hand-eye coordination, and poor visual tracking for reading and writing.
- Spinal Galant: This reflex assists babies with the birth process. This reflex happens when the skin on the side of an infant’s back is stroked. The child should swing towards that side. The spinal galant should inhibit by nine months. Some signs of retention are poor concentration, unilateral or bilateral postural issues, fidgeting, poor short term memory, and bedwetting.
- Tonic Labyrinthine Reflex (TLR): The TLR helps with head management and prepares the baby for rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing and walking. This reflex actually integrates slowly while other core systems mature and should disappear by three and a half years old. Signs of not integrating include motion sickness, poor muscle tone, walking on tiptoes, poor balance, and poor short term memory.
- Landau Reflex: Assists with posture development. This reflex activates at 4-5 months and usually integrates by one year. When the child’s head lifts it causes the entire trunk to flex. When retained appears overall poor motor development.
- Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex (STNR): STNR or the crawling reflex divides the body along the midline to prepare and assist with crawling. You can view this reflex by watching the baby’s head drop towards its chest while the arms bend and the legs extend. Interestingly, the STNR appears briefly after birth and the reappears between six to nine months. It should dissolve by 11 months. If retained, there is a tendency to slump while sitting, inability to sit still and concentrate, poor muscle tone, and poor hand-eye coordination.
2. Development Trauma in Adults
CONSENSUS PROPOSED CRITERIA FOR DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA DISORDER by Bessel van der Kolk
A. Exposure. The child or adolescent has experienced or witnessed multiple or prolonged adverse events over a period of at least one year beginning in childhood or early adolescence, including:
A. 1. Direct experience or witnessing of repeated and severe episodes of interpersonal violence;
A. 2. Significant disruptions of protective caregiving as the result of repeated changes in primary caregiver; repeated separation from the primary caregiver; or exposure to severe and persistent emotional abuse
B. Affective and Physiological Dysregulation. The child exhibits impaired normative developmental competencies related to arousal regulation, including at least two of the following:
B. 1. Inability to modulate, tolerate, or recover from extreme affect states (e.g., fear, anger, shame), including prolonged and extreme tantrums, or immobilization
B. 2. Disturbances in regulation in bodily functions (e.g. persistent disturbances in sleeping, eating, and elimination; over-reactivity or under-reactivity to touch and sounds; disorganization during routine transitions)
B. 3. Diminished awareness/dissociation of sensations, emotions and bodily states
B. 4. Impaired capacity to describe emotions or bodily states
C. Attentional and Behavioral Dysregulation: The child exhibits impaired normative developmental competencies related to sustained attention, learning, or coping with stress, including at least three of the following:
C. 1. Preoccupation with threat, or impaired capacity to perceive threat, including misreading of safety and danger cues
C. 2. Impaired capacity for self-protection, including extreme risk-taking or thrill-seeking
C. 3. Maladaptive attempts at self-soothing (e.g., rocking and other rhythmical movements, compulsive masturbation)
C. 4. Habitual (intentional or automatic) or reactive self-harm
C. 5. Inability to initiate or sustain goal-directed behavior
D. Self and Relational Dysregulation. The child exhibits impaired normative developmental competencies in their sense of personal identity and involvement in relationships, including at least three of the following:
D. 1. Intense preoccupation with safety of the caregiver or other loved ones (including precocious caregiving) or difficulty tolerating reunion with them after separation
D. 2. Persistent negative sense of self, including self-loathing, helplessness, worthlessness, ineffectiveness, or defectiveness
D. 3. Extreme and persistent distrust, defiance or lack of reciprocal behavior in close relationships with adults or peers
D. 4. Reactive physical or verbal aggression toward peers, caregivers, or other adults
D. 5. Inappropriate (excessive or promiscuous) attempts to get intimate contact (including but not limited to sexual or physical intimacy) or excessive reliance on peers or adults for safety and reassurance
D. 6. Impaired capacity to regulate empathic arousal as evidenced by lack of empathy for, or intolerance of, expressions of distress of others, or excessive responsiveness to the distress of others
E. Post-traumatic Spectrum Symptoms. The child exhibits at least one symptom in at least two of the three PTSD symptom clusters B, C, & D.
F. Duration of Disturbance (symptoms in DTD Criteria B, C, D, and E) at least 6 months.
G. Functional Impairment. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in at two of the following areas of functioning: Scholastic: under-performance, non-attendance, disciplinary problems, drop-out, failure to complete degree/credential(s), conflict with school personnel, learning disabilities or intellectual impairment that cannot be accounted for by neurological or other factors.
Familial: conflict, avoidance/passivity, running away, detachment and surrogate replacements, attempts to physically or emotionally hurt family members, non-fulfillment of responsibilities within the family.
Peer Group: isolation, deviant affiliations, persistent physical or emotional conflict, avoidance/passivity, involvement in violence or unsafe acts, age-inappropriate affiliations or style of interaction.
Legal: arrests/recidivism, detention, convictions, incarceration, violation of probation or other court orders, increasingly severe offenses, crimes against other persons, disregard or contempt for the law or for conventional moral standards.
Health: physical illness or problems that cannot be fully accounted for physical injury or degeneration, involving the digestive, neurological (including conversion symptoms and analgesia), sexual, immune, cardiopulmonary, proprioceptive, or sensory systems, or severe headaches (including migraine) or chronic pain or fatigue.
Vocational (for youth involved in, seeking or referred for employment, volunteer work or job training): disinterest in work/vocation, inability to get or keep jobs, persistent conflict with co-workers or supervisors, under-employment in relation to abilities, failure to achieve expectable advancements.