Trauma changes the way the brain processes information and the body engages with the world. This course explores how trauma affects people’s rhythms within themselves and with their surroundings. Because of altered biological systems, traumatized people continue to be trapped by their history and react to current experience in a myriad of ways as a replay of the past. We explore the neurobiology of self-regulation and examine ways of befriending one’s body, both of which are essential for the integration of traumatic memories: sensations, action patterns, and physical sensations derived from the past.
Most experience is automatically processed on subcortical, that is, unconscious, levels in the brain. Therefore, insight and understanding have only a limited influence on people’s control over these processes. We study and experience the capacity of practices such as EMDR, yoga, Internal Family Systems Therapy, theater work, and neurofeedback to help people overcome a traumatic past and regain the capacity to be fully alive in the present.