“Even   in   it’s   darkest   passages,   the   heart   is   unconquerable.   It   is   important   that   the   body   survives,   but   it   is   more   meaningful that the human spirit prevails” Dave Pelzer
Trauma Many   mental   health   issues   may   arise   from   our   attachment   relationships   with   others   and   the   disharmony   that   is      experienced   as a result of fractured, broken or abusive relationships. (Bessel Van Der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score) Our   survival   as   infants   is   dependant   on   our   primary   caregivers.   We   form   attachments   with   our   caregivers   that   teach   us   a   sense of   safety   and   when   our   primary   caregivers   are   responsive   and   attuned   to   our   needs   as   infants,   we   learn   we   are   worthy   of   care. These   early   experiences   of   ‘attunement'   and   ‘relational   safety’   shape   our   experience   of   the   world,   our   relationships   with   others and   are   fundamental   in   the   way   in   which   we   develop.   When   we   are   provided   consistent,   predictable   care   in   our   early   years,   we are able to trust and feel safe in the world, form an authentic sense of self and later, meet our own needs in adult life. Complex   trauma   occurs   in   the   presence   of   an   attachment   relationship   that   is   unsafe   and   unpredictable.   When   a   primary caregiver   is   unresponsive,   mis-attuned   to,   or   responds   to   our   needs   by   causing   harm,   the   external   world   becomes   a   frightening and   unsafe   place.   A   child   will   learn   to   adapt   him   or   herself   to   the   environment   they   are   raised   in   and   as   they   are   dependant   on their   caregivers   for   survival,   they   will   form   an   attachment   regardless   of   the   care   they   receive.   In   a   world   where   there   is   no   sense of ‘agency’ a child must learn to survive and adapt in the overwhelming face of fear and adversity. When   an   individual   comes   into   contact   with   trauma,   unconscious   survival   systems   are   activated   that   enable   us   to   either   move away   from   or   defend   against   threat.   These   ‘autonomic’   responses   involve   a   complex   system   of   neural   networks,   hormones   and the   nervous   system,   that   essentially   send   messages   from   the   brain   to   the   body   to   take   action.   When   an   individual   is   exposed   to an   abusive   environment   and   repeated   episodes   of   trauma,   the   internal   systems   stay   activated   or   are   triggered   easily   due   to ‘overuse’.   This   can   cause   damage   to   the   way   in   which   the   brain,   the   body   and   the   immune   system   develops   and   functions.   If   an individual   cannot   escape   repeated   trauma,   other   ways   of   survival   and   adaption   become   necessary,   often   resulting   in   strategies that do not ‘fit’ outside of the abusive environment.
Contact 07393 943918 Jodi Battison Art Psychotherapist (MA), Illustrator (BA Hons) and Yoga Teacher