What has been the most significant or insightful for you?
I can understand my interest and years of work in the trauma subject more after reading this book. On the one hand, assisting clients experiencing intense trauma has shown my tendencies of disassociation but searching for opportunities for resolution at the same time through this exposure. The experience of fulfilment has also been there and maybe this is generated by an innate drive to be part of an awakening process. As Peter says; trauma can be viewed as transformation, an awakening on a psychological, social and spiritual level in our evolution.
I was left with a deeper respect for the body’s intelligent energies, in particular, its ability to complete trauma responses by allowing involuntary and instinctual portions of our being to do their job. I believe I have mentioned this before in other reports, but the understanding and respect for that get deeper. The examples Peter gave working with clients was fantastic. Apart from reading how an experienced expert operates, I learned something in how going deep into the ‘story’ of the trauma can be counterproductive. Even though life can present us with repeated ‘story-situations’ which appear unexplainable, these circumstantial repeats of events of past incomplete threats are our instinctual drive to resolve and release residual energy stored in the nervous system. Just talking repeatedly about the story isn’t a health benefit but allowing us to become aware of the patterns is a big step. This allows me to see my shortcomings as a therapist and question ‘who was running the show in my sessions?’
Being drawn to repeated patterns and describing our reptile brain as stronger than our neocortex also gave me more understanding why victims continue to suffer from their circumstances without it making ‘logical’ sense.
I appreciated the practices suggested in the book as it allowed me to notice my body’s reactions more clearly and where I have held tensions nearly all my life. I am getting more of understanding of experiential learning how important it is to go into the felt sense when looking at healing. It was fascinating :)… how he describes the turbulence trapped inside the body in the form of opposing forces. The revving engine on the one end while applying the break, indicative of the lack of the body’s movement on the outside. No wonder the impact on our health.
Again, there is also much self-learning looking at how I have behaved in relationships and past tendencies for my sexual promiscuities. Being caught in a vicious cycle which brings with it a lot of self-blame! As with the other books, I keep learning about my behaviours as well as others’ and recognising ‘non-logical automatic response’ allows my empathy to deepen.
What do you still wonder, are curious or feel is unanswered for you?
How to live more comfortably with change while being part of a ‘patterned’ society. How to be open to vitality and a sense of wonder vs. instinctually locked into survivor victim mentality.
What will you take forward as a TRE provider?
More patience. Normalising the metal struggle without going in into the story but rather giving necessary information how powerful our bodies are without our minds trying to fix something it can’t set on a mental level. Reassurance and confidence in what is possible when the nervous system isn’t running on overdrive and compensating but rather its ability to release stored energies and returning to a sense of ease. From that point, I am reminded what Peter commented about enhancing our capacity for connection and enjoyment, being alive and vital. Who would not want that, and what an excellent vision to hold as a goal for TRE participants.
I am repeatedly reminded of the importance of my grounding work and practice. In this manner I will be better equipped to assist others, especially after hearing Peter mentioning ‘how we go in, we come out’. This is a little unpredictable but important to note when assessing the participants as well as informing them so it can be managed.
Why would you recommend or not recommend this book?
The examples Peter mentions with animals makes it simple to understand. I recommended this book to my daughter Sasha as she loves animals and I see it as a doorway to draw parallels without it being too confronting for her life. I think I have to learn not just to run around recommending all the books I am reading at the moment, but discern in conversation if there is an interest that points to one or another.
From a therapist’s point of view, I would recommend it to colleagues because of the direct trauma cases mentioned in the book but also for self and professional development.