(taken from an article by B. Jankovich, LMFT)
Where are you stuck?
We are all born perfect little beings-absolutely pure, absolutely simple. But from the very minute we are born, life begins to influence us. Researchers are now proving that much of that--both good and bad--gets stored within us like a library, and we adjust accordingly (physically and emotionally, consciously or unconsciously). The millions of tiny adjustments we make along the way create our sense of self.
When negative experiences don't have the opportunity to process properly, they get stored. We can become "stuck" in ways that prevent us from living our perfect life. Having an intellectual understanding of the root of that stuckness does not always release the energy stored within.
What is stuckness?
Often, stuckness is rooted in trauma. Most people think of trauma as it relates to major events involving physical or emotional violence, injury, abuse, or threats of life and death. But trauma may also include any deeply distressing experience that thwarts our natural ability to process it through our body's natural survival response. Some examples of trauma that often go unnoticed include: bullying, neglect, humiliation, harassment, manipulation, social pressure, disruption in childhood security, even common life losses, transitions, or disappointments.
Trauma is not necessarily the negative experience itself. Our bodies are designed to process negative events quickly so that we can return to productive living. Trauma occurs when there is a threat to our capacity to respond to something in a way that satisfies our nervous system. In that sense, an experience that might evoke a trauma response for one person may not have that affect on another.
Trauma is biology.
It is important to understand that trauma is biology because clients often show up to therapy saying, "I must be crazy" or believing that they must learn to accept their "craziness." You are not crazy. Trauma is your body's way of protecting you and of helping you go on in spite of a distressing experience. But your body remembers and stores that experience. It is completely out of your control.
The resulting symptoms can be pervasive and disruptive: depression, anxiety, self-harm, self-sabotage and self-destruction (cutting, suicidal ideation, addiction, eating disorders, etc.), an inability to form or maintain healthy relationships, an inability to participate in life in a full and satisfying way.
Symptoms may be present even when there is no conscious awareness of a particular distressing experience or event. Conscious or not, when we aren't able to complete that survival response, trauma can get stuck in the body and impair our ability to function and connect in the world.
Think of the healing process as a resetting of the nervous system. By gently reconnecting mind and body, we can allow the body to experience more complete healing and restore that essential balance required for living a whole life.
If you're feeling stuck, let's talk.
Kathy Lyons, LMFT, Cht. (818) 850-1275