Trauma Vortex

The image from 2016, in which I schematically summarized the vortex created by traumatic experiences and the subsequent effects of therapeutic relationships, can be distilled into simpler terms:

1. Trauma hampers our ability to mentally process events. During traumatic episodes, our capacity for verbal memory is compromised, making it impossible to encode these experiences verbally. Instead, they are primarily stored as non-verbal and somatosensory memories. This limitation impairs our ability to process and make sense of these experiences, leading to a sense of constraint.

Healing relationships, whether within or outside of therapy, provide a secure environment that enhances our mental processing capacity, making it easier to integrate and make sense of traumatic experiences both visually and semantically.

2. Trauma disrupts our physiological and emotional self-regulation mechanisms, leading to heightened anxiety and difficulty in managing emotional responses. Individuals may become easily triggered and struggle to calm themselves down.

Healing relationships established post-trauma play a pivotal role in restoring disrupted affective regulation within a safe and supportive context.

#trauma #psychology #psychotherapy