Somatisation – where do you feel various emotions in the body, and in what context and circumstances?
I went to a two day conference on Trauma and The Body with Christiane Sanderson, Miriam Taylor, Kathy Steele and Jamie Marich this week. This discussed what we can learn from neuroscience, trauma, dissociation and sensorimotor methodologies and attachment theory, so as to bring the embodied experiencing into the therapy. Our body holds and is affected by implicit memories and in therapy I try to somatically integrate these experiences, in a way that is sensitive to the avoidance of re-traumatisation when the body remembers. The body is so essential when working with trauma, dissociation and also moving from a place of expressing your feelings through psychosomatic difficulties, to verbalising them. As expected, there are intricate links between somatisation and sexuality when trauma is from childhood sexual abuse.
Jamie Marich went through some dancing mindfulness exercises to work with trauma, which I think is ideal for those who feel meditation and mindfulness is not for them. It is so important that we attune to our body regularly and I think that grounding exercises, mindful dancing and some breathing exercises that she taught are vital when dealing with trauma. Here are links to some of the exercises that can be used when in distress or to tune into the body regularly:
Here are my favourite Books:
The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment by Babette Rothschild
The Body Keeps The Score: Bessel Van Der Kolk
Waking The Tiger: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Trauma: Peter A Levine
With trauma we have to learn to reclaim our bodies, to start paying attention to them again, listening to them and exploring our relationship to them. How do we see them, how do we treat them, are we compassionate, caring, or punishing and disconnected.