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Harnessing the Power of Sensation: A Revolutionary Approach to Trauma Recovery

Did you know the human brain is incapable of feeling pain? The brain does not have pain receptors, so it cannot sense pain. This is why brain surgeries can be performed while the patient is awake, and they won't feel any pain.

You may find this helpful to remember next time you feel your emotions are "painful".

In fact, you are not in danger it is only your brain perceiving it this way.

Trauma, a pervasive and often silent force affecting 75% of the population (AIHW, 2022), is one such experience of this perceived danger. Traditional therapeutic approaches have long focused on cognitive and emotional aspects of trauma, but a groundbreaking paradigm shift is emerging—one that taps into the profound connection between sensation and trauma recovery.

Understanding Trauma:

Trauma is a complex and deeply ingrained response to distressing events that overwhelms an individual's ability to cope. Whether it's the aftermath of a car accident, the residue of combat experiences, or the scars of childhood abuse, trauma can cast a long shadow on one's mental and emotional well-being.

Conventional Approaches:

Traditional therapeutic methods often center around verbal communication, encouraging individuals to revisit and articulate their traumatic experiences. While talking therapy has proven effective for many, some individuals find it challenging to express their pain verbally, leading to a therapeutic roadblock.

The Power of Sensation:

Recent advancements in trauma therapy recognize the role of sensation in the healing process. Sensation-focused approaches, such as Somatic Experiencing and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, delve into the physical manifestations of trauma stored in the body. By connecting with bodily sensations, individuals can access a deeper understanding of their trauma and initiate the path to recovery.

  1. Somatic Experiencing:

Developed by Dr. Peter A. Levine, Somatic Experiencing focuses on renegotiating the body's response to trauma. This approach acknowledges that trauma is not just a psychological phenomenon but also a physiological one. Practitioners guide individuals to track bodily sensations, helping them discharge stored energy and regulate the nervous system.

  1. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy:

Incorporating elements of neuroscience and body-oriented psychotherapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy emphasizes the importance of the mind-body connection. This approach enables individuals to explore how past traumatic experiences are encoded in the body and provides tools to release tension, fostering a sense of safety and empowerment.

Benefits of Sensation-Focused Therapies:

a. Non-verbal Expression: Sensation-focused therapies offer an alternative for individuals who struggle to articulate their trauma verbally. The body becomes a medium for expressing and processing emotions that may be difficult to put into words.

b. Regulation of the Nervous System: Trauma often dysregulates the nervous system, leading to heightened states of arousal or dissociation. Sensation-focused therapies help restore balance by promoting self-regulation and a sense of safety.

c. Empowerment and Agency: Engaging with bodily sensations empowers individuals to reclaim agency over their own healing journey. This approach shifts the focus from a passive recounting of traumatic events to an active exploration of the body's innate capacity for resilience.

As our understanding of trauma evolves, so too does the landscape of therapeutic interventions. Sensation-focused approaches represent a promising frontier in trauma recovery, acknowledging the intricate interplay between the mind and body. By embracing the power of sensation, with the support of your Wellness Mentor, you can embark on a transformative journey toward healing, reclaiming your life from the pervasive impact of trauma.

Remember, no one has ever died from feeling their feelings.

Isn't it time you learned to distinguish the past from the present?

Thought from feeling? Sensations from perception?

The skills and resources are at your finger tips. You need only take the next step. Just One.

Alexis Dennehy is a Thematic Analyst, Therapist, Writer-Presenter. Talks about: Neuro-Somatic, Buddhistic & Jungian approaches to Therapy & Integrative Health Care. She is available for one-on-one consulting from her home studio-office in Graceville in tropical South East Queensland.


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