Trauma can be defined as “any experience that overwhelms our ability to cope in the moment.” When we are overwhelmed by an experience, our biological safety protocols kick in, to protect us from the overwhelming experience. This is a survival strategy. Interestingly, the body cannot tell the difference between something ACTUALLY happening or whether we are simply IMAGINING it happening. When faced with a real or perceived threat to our survival we tend to engage in one of three primary protective reactions: fight, flight, or freeze.
When these survival reactions have been activated, the part of our brain that regulates and controls our feeling and thinking (executive function) can be bypassed. This results in an experience that is out of our control. When we do not have the supportive environment to process and make sense of the overwhelming experience, this experience and the emotional, mental, and physical aspects of it are not resolved. These unresolved feelings, thoughts, and sensations get “stored” in memory away from our everyday awareness, so as to not “get in the way” of our functioning. We may develop unconscious strategies for keeping these uncomfortable memories from surfacing and intruding on our day-to-day experience.
When these strategies no longer work, or when some present moment experience causes a similar experience in memory to be recalled, this can result in severe dysfunction or dis-equilibrium, causing distress. Trauma therapies are designed to uncover and resolve these original wounds or overwhelming experiences, so that they no longer interfere or require effort to keep out of our awareness. At Spectrum Recovery Solutions, we offer several different approaches to resolving trauma. Here are the trauma resolution therapy models we offer: