Finding your ground to resolve your past
There is a lot of focus therapeutically at the moment on trauma. We are traumatised when something happens that overwhelms our bodymind’s capacity to absorb and process it. The unfinished processing essentially gets stalled or stuck, and we are left with the pieces of it, unconnected to each other, or our wider resourcefulness.
What is sometimes under-stated is the bodymind’s natural ability to heal and process what troubles us. Every night, our system spends time digesting and absorbing what has happened, and integrating it into our memory and unconscious knowing. We do this as we dream.
When something awful happens, our adaptive information processing capacity (AIP) may go offline temporarily. We may experience horrible symptoms as a result. However, a range of things can trigger us to begin processing once again, sometimes seemingly unconnected things that just provide the missing jigsaw piece that we need.
The first priority when you are overwhelmed or upset is to stabilise yourself. Using grounding techniques like breathing, paying attention to your physical senses where you are, stretching, having eye contact with someone else or using physical touch to connect can all be helpful to bring you into the here and now and enable you to begin to contain and make space for the difficult things that you have experienced.
As your sense of groundedness expands, so does what you can process. Sometimes in a matter of weeks spontaneous healing has taken place, and your trauma can fade into the mists of your memory.
Where this is not the case, techniques like Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and the Dream Completion Technique can give your system the prompt it needs to do what it naturally does to heal. If you have gone beyond what you can absorb on your own, then do seek out help, there is no need to suffer trauma symptoms on an ongoing basis.