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What is Trauma?

Trauma is caused by how your nervous system reacts to overwhelming events that trigger feeling states of helplessness and or powerlessness.

Trauma causes our bodies to bypass its natural design to automatically fight or flight when confronted with the experience of helplessness or powerlessness.

A traumatic event involves a single experience, or enduring a repeating event, that completely overwhelms the individual's ability to integrate the experience and emotions involved with the event.

What Are The Symptoms of Trauma?

On one end of the spectrum symptoms can be: anxiety, sleeplessness, intrusive thoughts, obsessions, aggressive behavior, cutting off, acting out, outbursts, etc.

On the other end of the spectrum: feeling confused, avoiding and isolating behaviors, chronic accommodating behaviors, chronic denial and on the extreme end: numbing, depression, dissociation and splitting.

People who have trauma

And want to heal

Will need to learn how to access

Other parts of their brain

That are directly connected to their autonomic nervous system

What Causes Trauma?

Events such as rape,war, natural disasters, physical and verbal abuse, childhood abuse and neglect, torture, domestic violence and many experiences in war.

Other examples that cause trauma, that are not often associated with trauma are: car accidents, surgery, near drownings and exposure to long term extreme poverty, experiences of betrayal, bullying abandonment and the loss of someone very close to you.

Different people will react differently to similar events; not all people who have been through a traumatic event becomes traumatized. Trauma is in the biology, it is how the nervous system reacts to the event that determines if someone develops symptoms.

Trauma symptoms can also show up in very specific areas of our lives

And are not necessarily caused by some unusual event.

Many people have trauma symptoms in specific areas of their life which is caused by the patterns and incapability’s of their caregivers; for examples some families are prone to unintentional rejection of: anger, sadness, joy or helplessness. As a result, defenses and blocks form around these expressions and are often what is in the way of intimacy with the self and what is blocking a client's untapped potentials capacities.

The A B C's of Our Nervous System

 Our bodies are designed not to withstand too much stress, so when you can not fight or run away from this overwhelming experience, our bodies are designed to go into a freeze state.

 A freeze state or response can often go undetected, it can be hidden; you can be frozen in one part of your life and not in others.

 A freeze state can show up as any of these symptoms in a spectrum of: feeling confused, cannot think clearly, avoiding behaviors, isolating behaviors, chronic accommodating behaviors, chronic denial and on the other end of the spectrum: numbing, depression, dissociation and splitting.

Neurobilogically speaking, the fight and or flight response is actually stuck in the nervous system; the fight and or flight response, wants to be released. 


There is a certain state of alchemy that happens between two people who are both utilizing a mind/body connection….. a healing space occurs, where someone with trauma, can begin to learn how to release their symptoms. Following the intelligence of the body, a trauma therapist will teach you how to utilize the use of sensations in order to release and heal your symptoms.

Once the fight and flight response is found using sensation: images, memories, thoughts and feelings begin to unravel; the nervous system begins to unwind and release. The stuck fight and flight, that had previously been stuck in the body, begins to unravel and clear your symptoms.

Releasing Trauma is a process that involves completely digesting emotions that had previously been stuck in the nervous system and causing symptoms. Symptoms, such as anxiety, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, obsessive thinking, depression, should not be thought of as bad things, but rather as signs and communication from the body, that it is time to turn to them, find them in the body and help them release and clear. 

Shaking is often a sign that symptoms are clearing

 Other signs of release are heat sensations, yawning, feeling suddenly tired, clarity, empowered thoughts and feelings and yes....the ability to sense a deep sense of calm within yourself.

Please feel free to call with any questions about Somatic Experiencing Sessions, Workshops or PowerPoint Presentations: 212-285-1999