Peter Levine, PhD is the author of Waking the Tiger and Trauma Through a Child's Eyes and he developed Somatic Experiencing, a highly effective trauma resolving therapy. This quote inspired me today.
The word "trauma" refers to an interrupted capacity to process and respond to life as it happens. It's a condition of stuckness and involves an internalized belief that X is not possible to move on from. Our bodymind system gets held hostage by the past and it's actually IN the body tissues and communication pathways, like a traffic crash that never gets cleared from the road. Day after day, year after year we drive around the crash site, practicing a belief in the change to our direct route.
Traumatic experiences DO happen. This is what I hope will not be misunderstood. We do get overwhelmed. The heart of overwhelm is the disconnect between our functional consciousness and our "empathic witness". Remember or imagine a time when something got scary and you were able to rise to the occasion and do what needed to be done. That we are able to rise to hard occasions is reassurance that it's not so much what happened but how we responded, or how we were NOT able to respond that gets imprinted. And it's the inner empathy, the witness within each of us that can shows us our best way through hard times. It's how we learn, and learning is ultimately kind.
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy helps consciousness return to the body tissues that are blocked. Because it is a body-oriented therapy, it does not rely on telling and analyzing the story of the trauma. Anything that has been held back from consciousness, blocking our capacity to respond in life, can be released from the body's tissues. When the body no longer holds trauma, we become free to move along. It's like, one day, instead of driving around the old crash site again, we choose to pause and clear the debris off the road. From that day on, that stretch of path is clear.
We really don't have to maintain and manage trauma for the rest of our lives, no matter what has happened to us. Even if an event caused a permanent change in some way, we still have our birthright to live in freedom and resilience. We are still worthy of our own love and compassion. The empathic witness of consciousness never leaves us, we just need help sometimes in reconnecting to ourselves. That's essentially how BCST works, as I understand it today.