Waking The Tiger

Excerpts from: Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, Peter A. Levine, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA 1997.

Pg 23  The “helping” professions tend to describe trauma in terms of the event that caused it, instead of defining it in its own terms.

Pg 29  In our first session, as I naively, and with the best of intentions, attempted to help her relax, she went into a full-blown anxiety attack….”You are being attacked by a large tiger.  See the tiger as it comes at you.  Run toward that tree; climb it and escape!”…She began to tremble, shake, and sob in full-bodied convulsive waves….Nancy continued to shake for almost an hour.

Pg 31  This response helped rid her nervous system of the excess energy that had been mobilized to deal with the threat she experienced during her tonsillectomy.  She was able, long after the original trauma, to awaken her capacity for heroism and actively escape.

Pg 32  I learned that the healing process was more effective if it was less dramatic, occurring more gradually.  The most important lesson I have gleaned is that we all have the innate capacity to heal our traumas….When we are unable to flow through trauma and complete instinctive responses, these uncompleted actions often undermine our lives.  Unresolved trauma can keep us excessively cautious and inhibited, or lead us around in ever-tightening circles of dangerous reenactment, victimization, and unwise exposure to danger….Until we understand that traumatic symptoms are physiological as well as psychological, we will be woefully inadequate in our attempts to heal them.

Pg 34  The image of the mature tree, full of character and beauty, will serve us better than denying the experience or identifying ourselves as victims and survivors….The roots of trauma lie in our instinctual physiologies.  As a result, it is through our bodies, as well as our minds, that we discover the key to its healing.

Pg. 35  To move through trauma we need quietness, safety, and protection similar to that offered the bird in the gentle warmth of the child’s hands.

Pg 37  The creative healing process can be blocked in a number of ways—by using drugs to suppress symptoms, by overemphasizing adjustment or control, or by denial or invalidation of feelings and sensations.

Pg 39  Old trauma symptoms are examples of bound-up energy and lost lessons… A healing moment ripples forward and back, out and about.

Pg 42  The irony is that the life-threatening events prehistoric people routinely faced molded our modern nervous systems to respond powerfully and fully whenever we perceive our survival to be threatened.

Pg 43  Being threatened engages our deepest resources and allows us to experience our fullest potential as human beings.  …Today, our survival depends increasingly on developing our ability to think rather than being able to physically respond.

Pg 44  As many as seventy-five percent of the people who go to doctors have complaints that are labeled psychosomatic because no physical explanation can be found for them.

Pg 45  Common occurrences can produce traumatic aftereffects that are just as debilitating as those experienced by veterans of combat or survivors of childhood abuse.  Traumatic effects are not always apparent immediately following the incidents that caused them.  Symptoms can remain dormant, accumulating over years or even decades.  Then, during a stressful period, or as the result of another incident, thy can show up without warning…Thus, a seemingly minor event can give rise to a sudden breakdown, similar to one that might be caused by a single catastrophic event.

Pg 46  Anxiety can crop up for a variety of reasons including a deep pain that comes when your spouse, friends, and relatives unite in conviction that its time for you to get on with your life….they believe you should have learned to live with your symptoms by now….Estrangement and fear can arise from the thought of talking to anyone about your symptoms, because your symptoms are so bizarre you are certain that no one else could be experiencing the same thing. You also suspect that no one will believe you if you do tell them, and that you are probably going crazy.

Pg 49  War and childhood abuse are two of the most common examples of traumatizing events that often exceed an individual’s survival resources….Infants and children, or anyone lacking the experience or skills to handle a threatening situation, are more vulnerable to traumatization…In varying degrees these options are not available to a younger child or infant.  Because of this fact, traumatic reactions often track back to early childhood.

Pg 58  Significantly, while the ceremonies themselves vary, the beneficiary of the healing almost always shakes and trembles as the event nears its conclusion.  This is the same phenomenon that occurs in all animals when they release bound-up energy.

Pg 61  We can do much to retrieve our own souls.

Pg 62  Most modern cultures, including ours, fall victim to the prevailing attitude that strength means endurance; that it is somehow heroic to be able to carry on regardless of the severity of our symptoms.  A majority of us accept this social custom without question.  Using the power of the neo-cortex, our ability to rationalize, it is possible to give the impression that one has come through a severely threatening event, even a war, with “nary a scratch”; and that’s exactly what many of us do….If we attempt to move ahead with our lives, without first yielding to the gentler urges that will guide us back through these harrowing experiences, then our show of strength becomes little more than illusion.  In the meantime, the traumatic effects will grow steadily more severe, firmly entrenched, and chronic. The incomplete responses now frozen in our nervous systems are like indestructible tome bombs, primed to go off when aroused by force.

Pg 63  Real heroism comes from having the courage to openly acknowledge one’s experiences, not from suppressing or denying them.

Pg 66  Body sensations can serve as a guide to reflect where we are experiencing trauma, and to lead us to our instinctual resources.

Pg 69  In many ways, the felt sense is like a stream moving through an ever-changing landscape.…once the setting has been interpreted and defined by the felt sense, we will blend into whatever conditions we find ourselves.  This amazing sense encompasses both the content and climate of our internal and external environments.  Like the stream, it shapes itself to fit those environments.

Pg 72  Studies have shown that therapies employing the felt sense are generally more effective than those that don’t.

Pg 73  Those of us who are traumatized should be aware that learning to work with the felt sense may be challenging.  Part of the dynamic of trauma is that it cuts us off from our internal experience as a way of protecting our organisms from sensations and emotions that could be overwhelming….We want to begin to tap into our instinctual voices.  The first step is learning to use the felt sense to listen to that voice.  The most helpful attribute in the journey is gentleness….This is definitely one time that you will get there faster by going slower.

Pg 76  Most people find emotions a far more interesting topic of investigation than mere sensations.  However, if you want to learn to use the felt sense, and especially if you want to learn to use the felt sense to resolve trauma, you must learn how to recognize the physiological manifestations (sensations) that underlie your emotional reactions.  Sensations come from symptoms, and symptoms come from compressed energy; that energy is what we have to work with in this process.  Through sensation and the felt sense, this vast energy can gradually be decompressed and harnessed for the purpose of transforming trauma.

Pg 104  The fear of experiencing terror, rage, and violence toward oneself or others, or of being overwhelmed by the energy discharged in the mobilization process, keeps the human immobility response in place.  These are not the only components that keep the freezing response from completion.  The fear of death is another….The fact that the immobility response feels like death is yet another reason the human is unable to stay with the felt sense of it long enough for it to reach its natural conclusion.  Humans fear it and avoid completing it.  Because most of us have a low tolerance both for going into and coming out of immobility, trauma symptoms are accumulated, maintained, and grow more complex….As the freezing response develops into terror, rage, or a death experience, we respond emotionally, just as we did when the event happened.  The way out of immobility is to experience it gradually, in relative safety, through the felt sense.

Pg 105  The immobility response not only becomes chronic, it intensifies.  As the frozen energy accumulates, so do the symptoms that are trying desperately to contain it.

Pg 106  Pathology (i.e., symptoms) becomes, in a sense, the organism’s safety valve.  This valve lets off just enough pressure to keep the system running.  In addition to its survival function and pain-killing effect, the immobility response is also a key part of the nervous system’s circuit breaker.  Without it, a human might not survive the intense activation of a serious inescapable situation without risking energetic overload.  Indeed, even the symptoms that develop out of the freezing response can be viewed with a sense of appreciation and even gratitude if you consider what might happen if the system did not have this safety valve….The functions (such as eating, sleeping, sex, and general activity) regulated by the reptilian brain make a broad and fertile place for symptoms to take root.  Anorexia, insomnia, promiscuity, and manic hyperactivity are only a few of the symptoms that can ensue when the organism’s natural functions become maladaptive.

Pg 109  The key to moving through trauma is in uncoupling the immobility (which is normally time-limited) from the fear associated with it….as humans begin to emerge from immobility, we are seized often by sudden and overpowering surges of emotion.

Pg 111  The forces underlying the immobility response and the traumatic emotions of terror, rage, and helplessness are ultimately biological energies.  How we access and integrate this energy is what determines whether we will continue to be frozen and overwhelmed, or whether we will move through it and thaw…The key I found was being able to work in a gradual, gentle way with the powerful energies bound in the trauma symptoms.

Pg 113  Now, Marius,” I ask, “can you feel your legs inside the pants?”…I ask him to feel his pants and then look at the rocks….(Very small movements can be seen in his thigh, pelvic, and trunk muscles, as he imagines jumping from rock to rock in following the trail.)  “I see him now.  I stop and aim my spear.” …”Yes,” I say, “Feel that in your whole body, feel your feet on the rocks, the strength in your legs, and the arching in your back and arms, feel all that power.”…It is helping to ‘prime the pump’ with predatory responses that will eventually become resources in neutralizing the immobility-freeze collapse which occurred at the time of the attack.

Pg 114  “What are the men doing now?”…I continue to help him create a resource from the sensations in his legs.  These resources can then build over time, gradually increasing the possibility of escape.

Pg 115  “Okay, yes, good.  Now start walking down, back towards the village.”… “Feel your legs, Marius, touch the pants,” I demand sharply.  “Feel your legs and look.  What is happening?”…”Feel the pants, Marius,” I command, “feel the pants with your hands.”…  “Turn, Marius.  Turn to the dog.  Look at it.”…This is the critical point.  I hand Marius a roll of paper towels.  If he freezes now, he could be re-traumatized.  He grabs the roll and strangles it as the other group members, myself included, look on with utter amazement at his strength as he twists it and almost tears it in two…. “Now the other one, look right at it…look right in its eyes..”

Pg 116  This time he lets out screams of rage and triumph.  I have him settle with his bodily sensations for a few minutes, integrating this intensity.  I then ask him again to look.  … “What do you see?”… “What do you see?”… “I see a pole…there are bolts on it.”… “Okay, feel your legs, feel your pants.”… I am about to tell him to run in order to complete the running-escape response.  But before I do he exclaims, “I am running…I can feel my legs, they’re strong like springs.”  Rhythmic undulations are now visible through his pants as his entire body trembles and vibrates…. “What do you experience now?”

Pg 117  “How does it feel in your body now that your father loves you?”

Pg 118  …even though this experience was imagined, because of the presence of the felt sense, the experience was in every way as real for Marius’ as the original one, that is, mentally, physiologically, and spiritually…. Marius is no longer a prisoner of the immobility response.  He now has a choice.  The ecstatic trembling energy from the kill is transformed into the ability to run….I ask him to turn and face his attackers so he doesn’t fall back into immobility.

Pg 120  …the key to resolving his trauma was in acknowledging and regaining his heritage as a competent, resourceful human being….We need to keep in mind that the germ of his healing was in the physiological discharge of the vast energy that had been bound in immobility….safe and gentle way of coming out of immobility without being overwhelmed.

Pg 121  The condensation of an entire event into a single image is characteristic of trauma….By re-establishing a connection with his legs as he identified with the hunters in the village, Marius became grounded in his own body and with his social world.  Regaining our ground is an important step in healing trauma.

Pg 122  By seeing himself walking in the mountains and jumping on the rocks, Marius developed a felt sense of strength and resilience….With this newly discovered aggression, Marius transforms the complex emotion of anxiety to joy and triumphant mastery.  In his imagined spearing of the bear, he makes the active response that will ensure his victory; hi is no longer the vanquished child.  In being able, step by step, to exchange an active, aggressive response for one of being helpless and frozen, Marius renegotiates his trauma…The overall strategy of renegotiation is as follows: the first step is to develop a facility with the felt sense.  Once this is developed, we can surrender to the currents of our feelings, which include trembling and other spontaneous discharges of energy.  We can use the felt sense to uncouple the maladaptive attachment between excitement and fear.

Pg 123  Empowerment is the acceptance of personal authority….At the moment our skin is cut or punctured by a foreign object, a magnificent and precise series of biochemical events is orchestrated through evolutionary wisdom.  The body has been designed to renew itself through continuous self-correction.  These same principles also apply to the healing of psyche, spirit, and soul.

Pg 128  This is because to a trauma victim, arousal has become coupled with the overwhelming experience of being immobilized by fear….The key for trauma victims is becoming reacquainted with a simple natural law.  What goes up must come down…If we allow ourselves to acknowledge these thoughts and sensations using the felt sense and let them have their natural flow, they will peak, then begin to diminish and resolve….Trauma occurs when an event creates an unresolved impact on an organism.

Pg 129  …healing requires an ability to get in touch with the process of the traumatic response.

Pg 134  Trauma symptoms begin to develop as short-term solutions to the dilemma of undischarged energy.  When they do develop, the constellation of symptoms is organized around a dominant theme.  Not surprisingly, these themes are constriction, dissociation, and helplessness.

Pg 135  When we respond to a life-threatening situation, hyperarousal is initially accompanied by constriction in our bodies and perceptions.  The nervous system acts to ensure that all our efforts can be focused on the threat in a maximally optimal way.

Pg 136  Constriction, dissociation and freezing form the full battery of responses that the nervous system uses to deal with the scenario in which we must defend ourselves, but cannot.

Pg 137  This singular condition was not the result of any mental process.  The shake annihilated fear, and allowed no sense of horror in looking round at the beast.  This peculiar state is probably produced in all animals killed by the carnivore; and if so, is a merciful provision by our benevolent creator for lessening the pain of death.”… (dissociation)…In its mildest forms, it manifests as a kind of spaciness.  At the other end of the spectrum, it can develop into so-called multiple personality syndrome.  Because dissociation is a breakdown in the continuity of a person’s felt sense, it almost always includes distortions of time and perception….In other words, out of our bodies.

Pg 138  In trauma, dissociation seems to be a favored means of enabling a person to endure experiences that are at the moment beyond endurance…

Pg 142  Unlike the automobile in which the brake and accelerator are designed to operate at different times, with a traumatic reaction both brake and accelerator operate together.  Since the nervous system only recognizes that the threat has passes when the mobilized energy has been discharged, it will keep mobilizing energy indefinitely until the discharge happens.  At the same time, the nervous system recognizes that the amount of energy in the system is too much for the organism to handle and it applies a brake so powerful that the entire organism shuts down on the spot.  With the organism completely immobilized, the tremendous energy in the nervous system is held in check….this profound sense of helplessness is nearly always present in the early stages of “overwhelm” resulting from a traumatic event.

Pg 146  As I mentioned earlier, trauma symptoms are energetic phenomena that serve the organism by providing an organized way to manage and bind the tremendous energy contained in both the original and the self-perpetuated response to threat.

Pg 147  … there are symptoms that are indicators of trauma because they are common to most traumatized people.  Generally, some traumatic symptoms are more likely to appear sooner than others.  In the last chapter we discussed the first symptoms to develop.  (the core of the traumatic reaction):

  • Hyperarousal
  • Constriction
  • Dissociation (including denial)
  • Feelings of helplessness

Other early symptoms that begin to show up at the same time or shortl after those above are:

  • Hypervigilance (being “on guard” at all times)
  • Intrusive imagery or flashbacks
  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound
  • Hyperactivity
  • Exaggerated emotional and startle responses
  • Nightmares and night terrors
  • Abrupt mood swings: e.g., rage reactions or temper tantrums, shame
  • Reduced ability to deal with stress (easily and frequently stressed out)
  • Difficulty sleeping

Symptoms that generally occur in this next stage of development include:

  • Panic attacks, anxiety, and phobias
  • Mental “blankness” or “spaciness”
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound
  • Hyperactivity
  • Exaggerated emotional responses
  • Nightmares and night terrors
  • Avoidance behavior (avoiding certain circumstances)
  • Attraction to dangerous situations
  • Frequent crying
  • Abrupt mood swings: e.g., rage reactions or temper tantrums, shame
  • Exaggerated or diminished sexual activity
  • Amnesia and forgetfulness
  • Inability to love, nurture, or bond with other individuals
  • Fear of dying, going crazy, or having a shortened life
  • Reduced ability to deal with stress (easily and frequently stressed out)
  • Difficulty with sleep

Symptoms that take longer to develop:

  • Excessive shyness
  • Muted or diminished emotional responses
  • Inability to make commitments
  • Chronic fatigue or very low physical energy
  • Immune system problems and certain endocrine problems such as thyroid dysfunction
  • Psychosomatic illnesses, particularly headaches, neck and back problems, asthma, digestive, spastic colon, and severe premenstrual syndrome
  • Depression, feelings of impending doom
  • Feelings of detachment, alienation, and isolation – “living dead”
  • Diminished interest in life
  • Fear of dying, going crazy, or having a shortened life
  • Frequent crying
  • Abrupt mood swings, e.g., rage reactions or temper tantrums, shame
  • Exaggerated or diminished sexual activity
  • Amnesia and forgetfulness
  • Feelings and behaviors of helplessness
  • Inability to love, nurture, or bond with other individuals
  • Difficulty with sleep
  • Reduced ability to deal with stress and to formulate plans

Pg 151  When this energy is thwarted in its attempt to protect us, a significant portion of it is rechanneled into fear, rage, hatred, and shame as part of the constellation of symptoms that develop to organize the undischarged energy.

Pg 152  When we suffer from trauma, the association between the life energy and the negative emotions is so close that we cannot distinguish between them.  Discharge is precisely what we need, but when it begins to happen, the effect can be terrifying and intolerable, in part because the energy released is perceived to be a negative.  Because of this fear, we typically suppress the energy or at best discharge it incompletely.

Pg 153  It is possible to deliberately stimulate the nervous system into becoming aroused and then to gently discharge the arousal.

Pg 156  This distorted orienting response is so compelling that the individual feels utterly driven to identify the source of the threat even though it is a response to internal arousal rather than anything sensed in the external environment….We use hypervigilance to channel some of that energy into the muscles of the head, neck, and eyes in an obsessive search for danger.

Pg 160  By focusing on the felt sense of her own breath, Mrs Thayer discharges the energy that was the source of her panic attack.

Pg 164  The word “fear” comes from the Old English term for danger, while “anxious” is derived from the Greek root word meaning to “press tight” or strangle….The elevated state of arousal, the symptoms, the fear of exiting or fully entering the immobility state, as well as a nagging awareness that something is very wrong, produce an almost-constant state of extreme anxiety.

Pg 168  The sound of footsteps, which the “normal” child orients to with alert expectancy, evokes frozen terror in the incest child.

Pg 175  Much of the violence that plagues humanity is a direct or indirect result of unresolved trauma that is acted out in repeated unsuccessful attempts to re-establish a sense of empowerment.

Pg 176  …the strategy of internalizing instinctive defensive procedures is a form of re-enactment—perhaps it could be called “acting in.”

Pg 179  In a renegotiation, the repetitive cycle of violent re-enactment is transformed into a healing event.

Pg 181  Central to Freud’s concept of repetition compulsion was his observation that people continue to put themselves in situations strangely reminiscent of an original trauma in order to learn new solutions.

Pg 195  Every trauma provides an opportunity for authentic transformation.  Trauma amplifies and evokes the expansion and contraction of psyche, body, and soul.  It is how we respond to a traumatic event that determines whether trauma will be a cruel and punishing Medusa turning us into stone, or whether it will be a spiritual teacher taking us along vast and uncharted pathways.

Pg 196  If we let it, trauma has the power to rob our lives of vitality and destroy it.  However, we can also use it for powerful self-renewal and transformation.  Trauma, resolved, is a blessing from a greater power.

Pg 197  Freud, in 1914, defined trauma “…as a breach in the protective barrier against stimuli leading to feelings of overwhelming helplessness.”

Pg 208  Rather than recording a linear sequence of events, memory is more like playing with Mr. Potato Head.  Depending on how it feels at the time, the mind selects from colors, images, sounds, smells, interpretations, and responses with similar arousal and feeling tones, then brings them to the foreground in various combinations to produce what we call memory.  As it relates to survival, memory is a particular type of perception; it is not an accurate imprint of an event…This gestalt can be a faithful representation of an actual event or it can just as easily be a rendering consisting of unrelated data from several different events—in other words, a mosaic.

Pg 210  If memories are not literal records of events, then why do some of the images created during periods of intense arousal seem so real?  Recent resear4ch suggests that the realness of an image is reinforced by the intensity of the arousal associated with it.

Pg 211  …the “memories” Penfield reported were only activated when the electrodes stimulated both the sensory areas and the limbic portion of the brain simultaneously…. “some affective (emotional) or motivational significance to a perception may be…the precondition for the perception to be consciously experienced or recalled and may imply that all consciously perceived events must assume some kind of affective dimension, if ever so slight.”  In other words, they concluded that emotional feelings are essential for the experience of remembering….Life-threatening events stimulate arousal.  In response, the nervous system goes into survival mode and the organism has to make an instantaneous decision.  To accomplish this task, it weighs the elements of the present situation and shifts into a research mode….Recorded memory would be of no use to us at this point because we have no time to run through a list.  We need to have the whole picture immediately.

Pg 212  …at each level there are possible, appropriate resources and responses from which we can choose.  When we need a response we do not search the entire library; we scan the books at the appropriate level of activation.  ..A maladaptive response to a life-threatening event never completes itself.  An example of this is when the nervous system unceasingly and unsuccessfully searches for appropriate responses.  As it fails to find this critical information, the emotions of rage, terror, and helplessness escalate….The result is a continuing and ever-escalating spiral in which we search for images stored on our bookshelves.  As our emotions escalate, we become more desperate to find the appropriate response to our situation and begin to indiscriminately select any image or “memory.”

Pg 213  When a person, in desperation, selects images associated with a similar emotional tone even though they may be dissimilar in content, a “memory” is created.  This memory is often accepted as the absolute truth of what happened.  Because of the high level of emotions attached to this experience, the traumatized person believes it to be truth…When we don’t become invested in finding a literal truth, we remain free to experience the full and compassionate healing afforded by the rhythmic exchange between the trauma and healing vortices that occur in renegotiation….Often, we get a sense of what may have happened to us in the past.  It is prudent that we hold our “memories” in perspective, and not feel compelled to accept them as the literal truth.  We can accept these historical ambiguities as a melding of experiences.

Pg 214  Remember, most memory is not a coherent and continuous record of something that actually happened.  It is a process of assembling elements of our experience into a coherent, organized whole.  In addition, we often separate the elements of a traumatizing experience into fragments in order to de-intensify the emotions and sensations.  Consequently, only fragments of a remembered traumatic event are likely to be entirely accurate….any type of sensory or informational input that has a similar emotional or feeling tone may be summoned to produce “the memory.”…What the felt sense is trying to communicate is “This is how I feel.”…Because the emotions that accompany trauma are so intense, the so-called memory can seem more real than life itself.

Pg 215  Of prime importance is whether the associated activation escalates or resolves.  It is essential that the unresolved activation locked in the nervous system be discharged.  This transformation has nothing to do with memory.  It has to do with the process of completing our survival instincts….we open the door to freedom.  A fixed memory of literally recorded events often limits and confines us.  In a sense, when we cling strongly to the concrete version of memory we are restricted to doing what we have always done in relation to it….The key to transforming trauma is to move slowly in the direction of flexibility and spontaneity. …When we are traumatized, there is an eventual disruption in the way that we process information.  The organism becomes disorganized and loses much of its fluidity and normal capacity to categorize information.  The normal, self-organizing function of the organism has to be re-established.  If we feel inclined to focus on memories (even if they are basically accurate), it is important to understand that this choice will impair our ability to move out of our traumatic reactions.  Transformation requires change.  One of the things that must change is the relationship that we have with our “memories.”…Being able to recall a terrible scenario and to know that you have survived it is an important element in building self-esteem.

Pg 217  The key to letting the healing vortex support the process of transformation lies in the ability to let go of preconceived ideas about how an event “should be” remembered.  In other words, you have to be able to give the felt sense free license to communicate without censoring what it has to say….This truth is experienced in moving fluidly between the healing and trauma vortices…If healing is what you want, your first step is to be open to the possibility that literal truth is not the most important consideration.  The conviction that it really happened, the fear that it may have happened, the subtle searching for evidence that it did happen, can all get in your way as you try to hear what the felt sense wants to tell you about what it needs to heal.

Pg 218  In spite of the fragmentation that occurs in the wake of trauma, the organism does retain associations that are connected with the events that caused its debilitation…if healing is what you want, it doesn’t matter whether you know the concrete truth…we can only heal to the degree that we can become unattached from these symptoms.

Pg 219  When trauma is transformed, one of the gifts of healing is a childlike awe and reverence for life…The instinctual organism does not sit in judgment; it only does what it does.  All you have to do is get out of the way.

Pg 252  The physical expression of distress needs to continue until it stops or levels out on its own.

Pg 253  It (trauma) is an interrupted process naturally inclined to complete itself whenever possible…It requires you and your child to shift from the realm of thought or emotions to the much more basic realm of physical sensation.  The primary task is to pay attention to how things feel and how the body is responding.  In short, opportunity revolves around sensation…A traumatized child who is in touch with internal sensations is paying attention to impulses from the reptilian core….Noticing these changes and responses enhances them. ..These changes have their most beneficial effect when they are simply watched, and hot interpreted.

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