Peter Levine, an expert and my guru on trauma, has written a new book, Memory and Trauma. I was blessed to hear him speak at our local Phoenix treasure, the Musical Instrument Museum. A soothing setting for this topic.
What with all the shootings and gun violence, seems like we need him more than ever.
The more I understand about how early trauma starts, the more hopeful I feel that we can reduce the incidence of violent events. Peter presented an awesome case about a fourteen-month-old baby boy who’d experienced a very complicated and painful breech birth. Jack was suffering from many physical symptoms, including reflux, and had failed to bond with his mother following the complicated Cesarean delivery. He also showed angry responses to social overtures. Jack was about to go “under the knife” for correction of his physical problems when he was spared by Peter’s treatment. After Peter had worked with the toddler and mom using Somatic Experiencing (SE) techniques, Jack began to bond with his mother and resolve some of his anger. His physical symptoms reduced and gradually disappeared.
Such work has huge ramifications, not only for the treatment of trauma but for the possibility of resolution of violent reactions and outcomes in our culture. What if, for instance, Jack’s trauma had not resolved? Would he have shown up as a bully or worse during school or as an adult?
I would love to hear your ideas on this. I will also include some information about somatic experiencing in another blog post. Please see my article on Trauma in My Writings.
Speak From Your Heart and Be Heard: Stories of Courage and Healing is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle and some independent bookstores.