This workshop unites two of the leading figures in the field of trauma research and body-oriented treatment approaches. Together Peter and Bessel will explore the implications of ongoing findings in the neurosciences, from how the brain and body deal with emotional information to an understanding of effective therapeutic action.
These mind and body experts will show how the trauma response is a specific defensive bodily reaction that people initially mobilize in order to protect themselves against feeling the totality of their horror, helplessness, and/or pain. However, in the long-term this response keeps them frozen, stuck in the past, and unable to fully be in the here-and-now. Fixed in the defensive trauma response, the shame, defeat, and humiliation associated with the original event often replays itself over and over again in the body, detached from history, but experienced in the present.
Traditionally, therapies have attempted to change perceptions of the world by means of reason and insight, along with conditioning, behavior modification, drugs, and medications. However, perceptions remain fundamentally unchanged until the internal experience of the body changes. Even after physical injury, the death of a loved one, war, rape, or assault, people can learn to have new bodily experiences, that help them heal, accept what has happened, and create a deeper connection to their authentic selves and their new lives.