Post traumatic stress can be seen as a breakdown of the mind body connection.
Even when the mind is aware of place and time, the body feels that past events are occurring in the present.Â Â Heart palpitations, rapid breathing, muscle tension, headaches, dry mouth, numbing, choking, feeling empty, dissociation, hypervigilance and Â exaggerated startle responses are all visceral âin the bodyâ responses associated with PTSD and panic.
Clinicians arenât trained to work with the anatomy of emotions in the body.Â Clinicians are trained to work with language, thought and behavior as a means to soothe emotion in the body.
With PTSD our thought processes no longer soothes us. We canât make sense of our physiological responses and we feel even more frightened. Healing PTSD needs to begin with an understanding of how emotion works in the body.
My name is Robert Adam.Â Iâm an LCSW in private practice.Â I teach yoga.Â I am a survivor of trauma and PTSD. Â I work with survivors of trauma and PTSD. In my clinical practice and in my yoga practice I always wanted to have an illustrated guide of the body and show how to integrate emotional anatomy into clinical practice.
I found that people would always talk about mind body connections but never actually show the anatomy.
Iâve created a DVD series called The Anatomy of Emotional Healing which is not a therapeutic protocol; it is a learning tool to teach how to experience, encounter and transform powerful emotion in the body.Â It is anatomical illustrations and animations that teach you to feel and interpret your emotional style of breathing, emotions in your heart, emotions in your digestion and emotions in the enteric nervous system.
It teaches you how to sense and calm your brain stem and spinal cord. It teaches you to sense and differentiate the lobes of your brain, your cerebellum and ventricle system of the brain.Â This is what advanced yogis know how to do.
You can learn how to sense the emotion of thought and the thought of emotion.Â You will know how to lucid dream and safely reform the emotional content of memory in the mind and body. This is an accessible step by step guide that will show you how to establish a grounded and secure presence in your body so you can teach traumatized clients how to feel safe.
You will empower your clients to control triggers and self heal. Â You will be more self aware individually and clinically. You will be more sensitive to therapeutic issues of transference and counter transference.Â You will be able to be more present in therapy and more successful healing traumatized clients.
This is how I healed myself and healed my clients from post traumatic stress.
My symptoms were fear and anger, hypervigilance, invasive thoughts, flashbacks and nightmares.Â My symptoms were moderate to severe. I tried therapy many times and some of it helped a little, but not a lot.Â I became a psychotherapist to learn what âtheyâ knew so I could figure out some way to heal myself.Â Â I learned a lot about therapy but I still felt frightened and confused.
With PTSD I began to practice from the point of view how not to make the mistakes that other therapists made with me. My therapists sometimes became frightened, angry, controlling, blaming and they triggered me.Â So the most basic advice is:
- Donât get scared.
- Donât get angry.
- Donât get controlling.
- Donât blame the client.
AndâŚ most Important:
- Donât retrigger the client.
Problem: How can you heal someone who either remembers too much (invasive thoughts, hypervigilance, nightmares, flashbacks) or too little (numbing, avoidance and dissociation)?
How can you heal someone who when they speak about the event and remember the event begins to feel unsafe, re-traumatized, violated and symptomatic?
Solution: There was an idea that I learned at school about creating âa frame of therapyâ where the office environment and the body language and wording of the therapist was supposed to feel safe and conducive to healing.
What I mean by this is that people who have been shot at, raped, violated and assaulted need to immediately sense that their therapist can handle it.
I needed to create a safe place inside myself that was strong enough to sense and tolerate huge feelings of terror, violence, confusion and rage. The moment I learned how to establish a secure place inside myself I began to learn how to heal PTSD.
People with PTSD have learned to mistrust safety because they have learned by experience that there is no security. Instead, people with PTSD trust danger because danger is real.
Establishing an inner sense of security and an inner sense of safety will change all the PTSD rules. I began securing safety with basic things I could trust.
I could trust I was alive because I could feel my breathing.
I could breathe through my nostrils and smooth my breathing.
My PTSD would counter with a fear wave.
When I relaxed, I felt fear.
When I felt fear, I could relax.
I established a zone of security that I could depend upon.
When I relaxed, I felt fear.
When I felt fear, I could relax.
My sense of security is centered in my heart, on top of my diaphragm.Â My heart can lift with my lungs and settle with my lungs.
This was the beginning of The Anatomy of Emotional Healing.
That was twelve years ago.
At that time I had been practicing about 8 years. I was a triathlete and marathon runner. I began practicing and yoga and meditation.Â I began integrating mind body elements into my clinical practice.
Six years ago I began formulating, writing, drawing and animating the ideas of The Anatomy of Emotional Healing.Â I taught myself computer engineering, computer graphics, animation, photography and film editing.
Iâve finally completed the DVD series.
I want to sell the DVDs â of course.Â But the big picture is that I want to create a network of people ti integrate mind body connection into therapy to better heal PTSD and trauma.
I suppose you could say that this is my lifeâs work.Â Iâm fifty-six now.Â I hope my most creative and productive years are ahead of me. Iâm trying to get the word out that there is a work of art that teaches profound mind-body healing skills.
Please go to my website, buy my DVD, study my DVD, talk to me and help develop mind body connection for individual and therapeutic growth.