I have recently attended two high powered conferences in a row. The first was Bessel van der Kolk’s 25th Annual International Trauma Conference: PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA: Neuroscience, Attachment, and Therapeutic Interventions on May 28 - 31, 2014 in Boston. The theme was What We Have Discovered Over The Past Quarter Century About Traumatic Stress and Its Treatment.
Then I presented at Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Model of Treatment Inaugural Symposium:
Brain Development and Trauma: Implications for Interventions and Policy, June 10 – 12, 2014 in Alberta, Canada at the Banff Centre. What a lovely place!
So my head is spinning with new ideas and new takes on old ideas, which I will be sharing with you in the upcoming weeks.
First let me focus on a basic premise of the Neurosequential Model. We cannot think when we are dysregulated. We can think best when we are in relationships to others. So, in every situation, for us and for our clients, follow the sequence:
We can use many methods to regulate ourselves and our clients. The best are “bottom up”; that is, using the body and rhythmic, repetitive activities. This includes rocking, walking, petting animals, doodling, jumping, music, throwing a ball back and forth, etc. Regular small doses of such activity can keep us regulated throughout the day and avert many crisises.
Once someone is regulated, emphasize relationship. Connected people are at their best. People who feel noticed, heard and safe can think creatively.
Then, and only then, problem solve.
And as soon as problem solving becomes stressful, return to regulation and repeat the sequence again.
More to come….