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Lynn L. West, PhDc, BCETS, LCPC
Trauma Impact On Nervous System
Lynn L. West & Associates, LLC

Trauma Impact On Nervous System

Self-regulation is not a learned skill. It is a product of the interactions between the physiological co-regulation of the feelings of safety from and through the mutual process of synchronous interactions between individuals.

Stabilization does not occur when someone (parent, friend, partner, spouse, relative or authority figure) “talks at” or attempts to “explain” what the traumatized person should not be feeling by not dealing directly with the underlying emotion the upset individual is experiencing. Healing does not occur when someone “intellectualizes” to emotionally distance or remove themselves from actually feeling the emotions of the distressed individual. Healing requires managing how we look, listen, and vocalize (prosody, voice tone, inflection) in a way that does not disrupt or disturb the connection in any manner in the interactions with a traumatized individual. It is always calm, predictable and reasoned behavior toward and with the dysregulated person.

This means that trauma response is extremely complicated and unique to each person who is affected. It cannot be understood using a Google search of behaviors that are observed in someone else as a way to understand the topic. Trauma response behaviors reflect the biophysiological actions and adaption made by the cells involved in the neuro regulation of the brain and central nervous system that either stabilize or mobilize fighting or fleeing. Regulation of the physiological state is defined as adaptive behavior that works automatically in the same way computer programs work.

Therapeutic treatment involves working with a therapist who is trained and specializes in psychotraumatology. Since individuals interact with everyone they know in the same way as vibrations on mobiles affect each other, therapy involves everyone in the family of origin and not just the individual suffering from trauma response symptomatology.

Co-regulation requires constant connection and not sending the traumatized individual to their room or away from their safety net at all.

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