The Body: Accessing and Integrating Implicit Processes for Treating Trauma

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Lee, Soo Sen
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Individuals exposed to trauma, especially complex trauma, experience relentless suffering unless effectively treated. Unfortunately, current "go-to" trauma treatment modalities, like traumainformed cognitive behaviour therapy and eye-movement desensitization reprocessing, have reported various limitations for this group of patients. One reason is the cognitive-based nature of the treatments and their sole focus on the explicit components of trauma. Traumatic symptoms consist of both explicit as well as implicit components that arise from psycho-social-emotional as well as neurophysiological sources. To ignore the implicit neurophysiological roots of trauma is to ignore the risk of retraumatization. In this capstone, I introduce an emerging group of therapies, called the somatic therapies, that have shown much promise in addressing the implicit aspects of traumatic symptoms with very low risk of retriggering unwanted symptoms. Somatic therapies are able to do so because they involve the body in all aspects of its work of healing. Various benefits of this approach are delineated in the essay below followed by the proposal of a model to guide those interested in pursuing competence in this modality.
trauma , somatic therapies
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess