This topic is near and dear to my heart because my team and I are getting more and more messages across email and our social feeds of people being brought into ‘healing’ situations that they, and their practitioner, are simply not equipped to deal with.
It seems that ‘releasing trauma’ is becoming (dare I say) glamourized. And I am very glad that it is becoming more talked about because through the research and anecdotal evidence that has accumulated over time we now know that much, if not most, of our human woes and hurts, plus addictions and ‘bad’ behaviours, are a result of untreated early traumas of many kinds.
We do need to heal our individual and collective traumas for humanity to survive and thrive AND we do need to do it with intelligence and a level of ‘slow and steady’, ‘quality over quantity’, and a ‘less is more’ ethos.
Just like you can’t launch a spacecraft and train a group of astronauts in one year nor can you heal a lifetime of trapped traumatic stress in one year. For the latter I would actually suggest against even considering it. Healing for real takes time, care, practice, safety, and proper foundations.
Consider healing trauma and restoring nervous system health and regulation back to the human system more like an apprenticeship and lifelong journey, rather than it being a task to be completed in a set time period. I’m not saying it will take the rest of your life to get better, in fact a person can get really positive changes over a period of months or even weeks, but truly restoring regulation to the nervous system and eliminating ALL the various symptoms of traumatic stress does take much longer than that.
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Changing our perception of time and how we heal
Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, author of Whole Earth Discipline and environmentalist/futurist, has been urging us humans to see things long-term, or as he calls it the ‘The Long Now’ for quite some time. He believes that in doing so we can see time in a way that fosters responsibility for US. For humanity. I think he is right.
My sense is when see healing from a longer point of view, as a lifestyle that is never to be stopped, just added to, refined and improved, over and over again, we might get a pleasant surprise.
Put another way, I feel that seeing this long view to healing means we move from a healing paradigm that has been based on survival, achievement, and results, to one that is governed by quality as well as slow and steady increments of change and transformation that are real, lasting, and revolutionary.
Would that not be grand?
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.* The research and modalities that are considered the gold standard for healing trauma at the nervous system and somatic (body) based level are the work of Stephen Porges and his findings on the vagus nerve (what is now known as The Polyvagal Theory), Peter Levine’s body of work (Somatic Experiencing), and Kathy Kain’s body of work (Somatic Practice).