"Healing Developmental Trauma" by L. Heller and A. LaPierre

Arwenn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#1
I thought I'd start a thread on this book, as recommended by Laura here.

Laura said:
In respect of Neurofeedback training, I think that peeps should get and read "Healing Developmental Trauma" by Heller and Lapierre. I have just about finished it and WHAT a REVELATION. I posted about it in two other threads where it was mentioned:

https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,45226.msg747485.html#msg747485
https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,44868.msg747484.html#msg747484

... in hopes that more forum peeps will get and read this one!!!

I think that the information in this book (which combines a lot of things we already know and discuss, including Porges' "Polyvagal Theory") combined with The Work, AND Neurofeedback training, can be great assets to our toolkit for working on ourselves to become fully functional human beings with the potential to go beyond. It really can become a "Fourth Way" in every sense of the term. (And, of course, tending to the body via diet is also important, as we have found.)

So, peeps, get and read this book. It describes five types of survival strategies, i.e. false personalities, and maybe you can recognize yourself and better understand how to go forward, how to change the future by healing the past which can only be done IN the NOW.

Looks to be a very interesting read, and while I was looking to order it on the net, I came across an article excerpted from the book, which I will post here (link to the article is below):

[quote author= Heller & LaPierre]

The spontaneous movement in all of us is toward connection, health, and aliveness. No matter how withdrawn and isolated we have become, or how serious the trauma we have experienced, on the deepest level, just as a plant spontaneously moves toward sunlight, there is in each of us an impulse moving toward connection and healing.

It is the experience of being in connection that fulfills the longing we have to feel fully alive. An impaired capacity for connection to self and others and the ensuing diminished aliveness are the hidden dimensions that underlie most psychological and many physiological problems. Unfortunately, we are often unaware of the internal roadblocks that keep us from the experience of the connection and aliveness we yearn for. When individuals have had to cope with early threat and the resulting high arousal of unresolved anger and incompleted fight-flight responses, adaptive survival mechanisms develop that reflect the dysregulation of the nervous system and of all the systems of the body. These adaptive survival mechanisms disrupt the capacity for connection and social engagement and are the threads that link the many physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive symptoms that are the markers of developmental posttraumatic stress.


A Brief Historical Context

A cornerstone of somatic psychotherapy has been that our aliveness, vitality, and authenticity are accessed through connection to the body. As we know, Western somatic psychotherapy began with Wilhelm Reich who was the first to understand that our biologically based emotions are inextricably linked to our psychological processes. Reich, whose roots were in psychoanalysis, is best known for his insights on what he called character structures, which he believed were kept in place by defensive armoring. For Reich, the term armoring refers to the muscular rigidity that is the protective response to living in environments that are emotionally repressive and hostile to aliveness. Building on Reich’s understanding of the functional unity of body and mind, Alexander Lowen developed Bioenergetics, a somatic approach that identified five basic developmental character structures: schizoid, oral, psychopathic, masochistic, and rigid. Lowen’s five character structures clearly tapped into a fundamental understanding of human nature and have influenced many subsequent body-based psychotherapies. Reich and Lowen’s character structures were based on the medical model of disease and therefore focused on the pathology of each developmental stage. Consistent with the thinking of their time, they emphasized the importance of working with defenses, repression, and resistance and encouraged regression, abreaction, and catharsis. Reich and Lowen both believed that the therapist’s job was to break through a patient’s character armor—their psychological and somatic defenses—in order to release the painful emotions stored or locked in the body.

As new information has emerged on how the brain and nervous system function, the need to update the focus on pathology in both psychodynamic and somatic approaches is becoming increasingly clear. Looking through the lens of what we currently know about trauma and its impact on the nervous system, cathartic interventions can have the unintended effect of causing increased fragmentation and retraumatization. For example, we now know that when we focus on dysfunction, we risk reinforcing that dysfunction: if we focus on deficiency and pain, we are likely to get better at feeling deficiency and pain. Similarly, when we concentrate primarily on an individual’s past, we build skills at reflecting on the past, sometimes making personal history seem more important than present experience.

Five Biologically Based Core Needs and Associated Capacities

Reconceptualizing the character structure model to take current knowledge into account, the NeuroAffective Relational Model™(NARM) recognizes five biologically based core needs that are essential to our physical and emotional well-being: the need for connection, attunement, trust, autonomy, and love-sexuality (Table 2). When our biologically based core needs are met early in life, we develop core capacities that allow us to recognize and meet these core needs as adults. Being attuned to these five basic needs and capacities means that we are connected to our deepest resources and vitality.

{I could not paste the Table from the article, this is one from the internet}
Five Adaptive Survival Styles

Although it may seem that humans suffer from an endless number of emotional problems and challenges, most of these can be traced to early developmental traumas that compromise the development of one or more of the five core capacities. Using the first two core needs as examples, when children do not get the connection they need, they grow up both seeking and fearing connection. When children do not get the necessary early attunement to their needs, they do not learn to recognize what they need, are unable to express their needs, and often feel undeserving of having their needs met. When a biologically based core need is not met, predictable psychological and physiological symptoms result: self-regulation, identity, and self-esteem become compromised. To the degree that the five biologically based core needs are not met in early life, five corresponding adaptive survival styles are set in motion. These survival styles are the adaptive strategies children develop to cope with the disconnection, dysregulation, disorganization, and isolation they experience when core needs are not met. Each adaptive survival styles is named for its core need and missing or compromised core capacity: the Connection Survival Style, the Attunement Survival Style, the Trust Survival Style, the Autonomy Survival Style, and the LoveSexuality Survival Style

As adults, the more the five adaptive survival styles dominate our lives, the more disconnected we are from our bodies, the more distorted our sense of identity becomes, and the less we are able to regulate ourselves. When, because of developmental trauma, we are identified with a survival style, we stay within the confines of learned and subsequently self-imposed limitations, foreclosing our capacity for connection and aliveness. To illustrate how in NARM we support the development of missing core capacities and help clients disidentify from the resulting adaptive survival styles, we will now focus on the treatment of adults who struggle with the Connection Survival Style. The theme of broken connection runs through all five survival styles, but it is particularly central to the Connection Survival Style.

CONNECTION
Our First Core Need

In NARM, Connection is the name given to the first stage of human development and the first core need or organizing life principle. When our capacity for connection is in place, we experience a right to be that
becomes the foundation upon which our healthy self and our vital relationship to life is built. The degree to which we feel received, loved, and welcomed into the world makes up the cornerstone of our identity. The Connection Survival Style, what Lowen called the schizoid, develops as a way of coping with the systemic high-arousal states that result from the ongoing attachment distress of feeling unloved, unprotected, unsupported, and even hated.

The Interplay Between Shock and Developmental Trauma

Shock trauma—the impact of an acute, devastating incident that leaves an individual frozen in fear and frozen in time—is clinically recognized and treated under the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder
(PTSD). In single-event shock trauma, the completion of the fight–flight response is not possible. When working with individuals who have experienced shock trauma, the goal of therapy is to help them complete the fight–flight response. In cases of developmental trauma—which includes profound caregiver misattunement as well as ongoing abuse and neglect of varying degrees—there is no single traumatizing event. Although the physiological response may be similar to that of shock trauma, there are ongoing distressing relational dynamics to take into consideration. Throughout the stages of a child’s development, there is an interplay between shock and developmental trauma. In early development, shock traumas—for example early surgery, an infant’s or mother’s illness, death in the family, or global events such as being born into wartime—have a disruptive effect on the attachment process. In these situations, infants are affected not only by the shock itself, but also by how the shock negatively impacts the attachment process. An example of the interplay between shock and developmental trauma can be seen in infants who have experienced prenatal trauma. At birth, the already traumatized infant is in a disorganized and dysregulated state. Studies show that it is more difficult for a mother to bond with a distressed baby. Traumatized infants present their mothers with significant regulation and attachment challenges that do not exist in non-traumatized newborns.

The Impact of Trauma on Early Development

During the first stage of life, the fetus and the infant are in every way dependent on their caregivers and on their environment. As a result of this complete vulnerability, an infant’s reaction to early developmental or shock trauma is one of overwhelmingly high arousal and terror. The vulnerable infant, who can neither fight nor flee, cannot discharge the high arousal caused by the uncontrollable threat and responds with physiological constriction, contraction, core withdrawal, and immobility/freeze. One of the strategies used by animals in response to threat is to run for safety. Animals run to their burrows, flee to their caves or to any other safe place. When infants or small children experience early shock or attachment trauma, the threat is inescapable. They cannot run and they cannot fight. Whether the threat is intrauterine or takes place at birth or later in life, there is no possible safety other than that provided by the caregivers. When their caregivers, for whatever reason, are unable to provide safety or are themselves a source of threat, infants experience the only home they have as unsafe; this sets up a pattern for a lifelong sense that the world is unsafe. The earlier the trauma, the more global its impact on the physiology and psychology, on the sense of identity and world view.

Current studies in developmental traumatology show that the cumulative effects of chronic early neglect and abuse adversely influence brain development and negatively impact the nervous system, endocrine system, and memory. The pain of early trauma is overwhelming and disorganizing; it creates high levels of systemic arousal and stress which, when ongoing and undischarged, are managed in the body through visceral dysregulation, muscular contraction, and the dissociative processes of numbing, splitting, and fragmentation. Anyone who has pricked an amoeba and seen it contract and close in on itself has witnessed this process of contraction and withdrawal. This combination of high arousal, contraction, and withdrawal/freeze creates systemic dysregulation that affects all of the body’s biological systems leaving the child and later the adult with a narrowed range of resiliency and an increased vulnerability to later traumas. The underlying biological dysregulation of early trauma is the shaky foundation upon which the psychological self is built.

When infants experience their environment as threatening and dangerous, their reaction is either to cling to others or to withdraw into themselves. As with all living organisms, constriction, contraction, withdrawal, and freeze are the primitive defenses infants utilize to manage the high arousal of terrifying early trauma. When threat is chronic, when danger never goes away and there is no possible resolution as is the case in abusive families, the entire organism remains in ongoing anxious and defensive responses and the nervous system becomes locked in a state of high sympathetic arousal and hypervigilance. In cases of early or severe trauma, when infants cannot run from threat or fight back, arousal levels can be so dangerously high that they threaten to overload the nervous system, and often do so. Locked in perpetual, painful high arousal, the only alternative, the fallback position, is to go into a freeze state which infants and small children accomplish by numbing themselves. Until the trauma response is completed and the high levels of arousal are discharged from the nervous system, the environment continues to feel unsafe even when the actual threat is gone. Being locked in unresolved trauma responses can become a lifelong state, as we see in individuals with the Connection Survival Style.

Early Trauma Is Held in Implicit Memory

Since the hippocampus is responsible for discrete memory, when trauma occurs early in the development of the neocortex and before the hippocampus comes online, many individuals show symptoms of
developmental posttraumatic stress yet have no conscious memories of traumatic events. Early trauma is held implicitly in the body and brain resulting in a systemic dysregulation that is confusing for individuals who often exhibit symptoms of traumas they cannot remember. This is also confusing for the clinicians who want to help them. Neuroscience confirms that early trauma is particularly damaging. Not only does it impact the body, nervous system, and developing psyche, but its effects are cumulative; trauma experienced in an early phase of development makes a child more vulnerable to trauma in later phases of development. For example, prenatal trauma can make birth more difficult, and a traumatic birth can affect the subsequent process of attachment. The tragedy of early trauma is that when babies resort to freeze and dissociation before the brain and nervous system have fully developed, their range of resiliency drastically narrows. In addition to the normal challenges of childhood, meeting later developmental tasks becomes that much more difficult. Being stuck in freeze-dissociation, these individuals have less access to healthy aggression, including the fight–flight response, and their capacity for social engagement is strongly impaired, leaving them much more vulnerable and less able to cope with later trauma and the challenges of life.

The Adult Experience

Adults who have experienced early trauma are engaged in a lifelong struggle to manage their high levels of arousal. They struggle with dissociative responses that disconnect them from their body, with the
vulnerability of ruptured boundaries, and with the dysregulation that accompanies such struggles. Individuals with less obvious symptoms may not consciously realize that they experience a diminished
capacity for joy, expansion, and intimate relationship;
if they are aware of their difficulties, they usually do not understand their source. Individuals with the Connection Survival Style are often relieved to learn that their difficult symptoms have a common thread, what we call an organizing principle. Their struggle with high levels of anxiety, psychological and physiological problems, chronic low self-esteem, shame, and dissociation all constellate around the organizing principle of connection—both the desire for connection and the fear of connection.

When there is early trauma, varying degrees of predictable symptoms are commonly present. It is important to keep in mind that these symptoms usually occur simultaneously, loop back on each other, and continuously reinforce one another.

Self-Image and Self-Esteem. Individuals traumatized in the Connection stage experience themselves as outsiders, disconnected from themselves and other human beings. Not able to see that the traumatic experiences that shaped their identity are due to environmental failures that were beyond their control, individuals with the Connection Survival style view themselves as the source of the pain they feel.
The Need to Isolate. Because of the breach in their energetic boundaries, individuals with the Connection Survival Style use interpersonal distance to feel safe. They develop life strategies to minimize contact with other human beings.
Nameless Dread. The internal experience of adults traumatized in the Connection stage is one of constant underlying dread and terror characterized in NARM as nameless dread. Their nervous system has remained in a continual sympathetically dominant global high arousal and it is this arousal that drives and reinforces their profound and persistent feeling of threat.
A Designated Issue. A named and identified threat is better than nameless dread. Not realizing that the danger that they once experienced in their environment is now being carried forward as high arousal in their nervous system, the tendency is to project onto the current environment what has become an ongoing internal state. Once the dread has been named, it becomes what we call the designated issue. The designated issue can be fear of death, a phobia, real or perceived physical deficiencies such as overweight or other perceived “defects”, as well as real or perceived psychological or cognitive deficiencies such as dyslexia or not feeling smart enough. Designated issues, whether or not they have a basis in physical reality, come to dominate a person’s life, covering the deeper distress and masking the underlying core disconnection.
Shame and Self-Hatred. Infants who experience early trauma of any kind experience the early environmental failure as if there were something wrong with them. Later cognitions such as “There is something basically wrong with me” or “I am bad” are built upon the early somatic sensation: “I feel bad.”
Overwhelm. People with significantly compromised energetic boundaries describe themselves as feeling raw, sometimes without a skin. Compromised energetic boundaries lead to the feeling of
being flooded by environmental stimuli and particularly by human contact.
Environmental Sensitivities. Intact energetic boundaries function to filter environmental stimuli. Inadequate or compromised boundaries, on the other hand, allow for an extreme sensitivity to external stimuli: human contact, sounds, light, touch, toxins, allergens, smells, and even electromagnetic activity.
A Sense of Meaninglessness. A common refrain from individuals with the Connection Survival Style is “Life has no meaning” or “What’s the point?” Searching for meaning, for the why of existence, is one of the primary coping mechanisms used for managing their sense of disconnection and despair.

Dissociation: Bearing the Unbearable

When trauma is early or severe, some individuals completely disconnect by numbing all sensation and emotion. Disconnection from the bodily self, emotions, and other people is traditionally called dissociation. By dissociating, that is, by keeping threat from overwhelming consciousness, a traumatized individual can continue to function. When individuals are dissociated, they have little or no awareness that they are dissociated: they only become aware of their dissociation as they come out of it. Compassionate understanding for the pain and fear that drives the dissociative process is critical to healing the Connection dynamic. Just as a coyote with its leg caught in a trap chews it off in order to escape, in attempting to manage early trauma, the organism fragments, sacrificing unity in order to save itself. Disconnection sets up a pernicious cycle: To manage early trauma, children disconnect from their bodies, emotions, and aggression, foreclosing their vitality and aliveness. In addition, they also disconnect from other people. This disconnection, though life saving, produces more distress because they feel exiled from self and others. Seeing other people live in what one client called “the circle of love” and the distress of feeling “on the outside looking in” heighten both shame and alienation. [/quote]

The rest of the article can be read here _http://cellularbalance.com/Articles/Working_with_Developmental_Trauma.pdf
I can relate to much of what is written above- when I was reading it I felt like a light bulb just went on. Can't wait to read the book in full.
 

Laura

Administrator
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#2
Obviously, reading the whole book is much better than an article or watching a video as far as I have seen.

I will also warn you that reading this book might be a little bit traumatic as you recognize elements of yourself and others around you and finally understand why you - or they - act a certain way under certain circumstances. It can sure help with the development of Empathy and conscience to understand these things.

I swear, I wish I could go back and do my children over again - so much I just didn't know. Well, heck, so much nobody knew. It was only in 1988 that a study was done that determined that babies feel pain!!! Geezus! I knew they did without a study!!
 

Mariama

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#4
Laura said:
I will also warn you that reading this book might be a little bit traumatic as you recognize elements of yourself and others around you and finally understand why you - or they - act a certain way under certain circumstances. It can sure help with the development of Empathy and conscience to understand these things.

I swear, I wish I could go back and do my children over again - so much I just didn't know. Well, heck, so much nobody knew. It was only in 1988 that a study was done that determined that babies feel pain!!! Geezus! I knew they did without a study!!
The same here, I have wished (and still do) many times I could go back and start afresh as a mother with my kids. It's painful to read all these books that you have recommended, but at the same time it is very enlightening. I am going to order the book right now.
 

Maat

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
#5
Perlou, and others will be happy to know that this one is available in French "Guérir les traumatismes du développement - Restaurer l'image de soi et la relation à l'autre" :

_https://www.amazon.fr/dp/2729614982/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I222FXQNCTFNZT&colid=31ED4MZZLB44U&psc=0

On the amazon link, you can even browse a little of the content :)
 

shijing

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#6
Thanks Laura for recommending this book, and Arwenn for starting this thread and posting the excerpt that you did. I read through it last night and a lot of it hit home; it was a struggle to keep from dissociating as I was reading, but it certainly seems worth it. I just found a copy of the book this afternoon (not far on the shelf from Bessel van der Kolk's book) and will take it home with me today.
 

Bluefyre

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
#7
I confess I found it a difficult book to read emotionally, but could not put it down. It turned on so many lights, made so many connections for me, but in the present, not rummaging in the past, seeing my behaviour and how my mind operates in whole new ways. Of all of the books I've read in researching the impact of trauma, this has been the most helpful.
 

Divide by Zero

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#8
Arwenn thanks for the introduction to this book. I look forward to reading it.

On the PDF table 1 there is one thing that makes me wonder:
"Are you always looking for the why of things?"

Well, without that, would we be here?

I suppose that is a natural symptom/response to a crazy world that we live in, even if our families weren't abusive, school/peers and society are!
 

987baz

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#9
I Just started reading this book today, I've already highlighted 4 sentences and I'm not even finished chapter 1!

The tendency for traumatized individuals is to disconnect from the body by becoming overly cognitive or by numbing bodily experience, or both.
and this

Each adaptive survival style has underlying shame-based identifications that develop to make sense of early environmental failure. In addition, in reaction to underlying shame, most people also develop pride-based counter-identifications, an ego ideal that reflects how they would like to see themselves or want others to see them
Thanks as always to Laura for the recommendation, and Arwenn for starting this thread, and the extra info!
 

Arwenn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#10
987baz said:
I Just started reading this book today, I've already highlighted 4 sentences and I'm not even finished chapter 1!

The tendency for traumatized individuals is to disconnect from the body by becoming overly cognitive or by numbing bodily experience, or both.
and this

Each adaptive survival style has underlying shame-based identifications that develop to make sense of early environmental failure. In addition, in reaction to underlying shame, most people also develop pride-based counter-identifications, an ego ideal that reflects how they would like to see themselves or want others to see them
Thanks as always to Laura for the recommendation, and Arwenn for starting this thread, and the extra info!
I can't wait for the book to arrive, ordered mine from Book Depository for around $25. I can totally relate to the two quotes you posted above, let alone what I read in the excerpt posted above so it promises to be a real eye-opener!
 

Ant22

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#11
Arwenn said:
987baz said:
I Just started reading this book today, I've already highlighted 4 sentences and I'm not even finished chapter 1!

The tendency for traumatized individuals is to disconnect from the body by becoming overly cognitive or by numbing bodily experience, or both.
and this

Each adaptive survival style has underlying shame-based identifications that develop to make sense of early environmental failure. In addition, in reaction to underlying shame, most people also develop pride-based counter-identifications, an ego ideal that reflects how they would like to see themselves or want others to see them
Thanks as always to Laura for the recommendation, and Arwenn for starting this thread, and the extra info!
I can't wait for the book to arrive, ordered mine from Book Depository for around $25. I can totally relate to the two quotes you posted above, let alone what I read in the excerpt posted above so it promises to be a real eye-opener!
Seeing the book popping up on the forum recently I ordered my copy last night for next day delivery. The two quotes from 987baz made me look forward to it even more!

Both shame-based responses and disconnect from the body were widely discussed in other books I read and boy they were real eye-openers! The more I read about an issue from different perspectives the clearer it becomes and I'm really curious to see how Healing Developmental Trauma approaches the topic.

Thank you for the recommendation! :flowers:
 

987baz

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#12
Ant22 said:
Seeing the book popping up on the forum recently I ordered my copy last night for next day delivery. The two quotes from 987baz made me look forward to it even more!

Both shame-based responses and disconnect from the body were widely discussed in other books I read and boy they were real eye-openers! The more I read about an issue from different perspectives the clearer it becomes and I'm really curious to see how Healing Developmental Trauma approaches the topic.

Thank you for the recommendation! :flowers:
So far, very interesting! As mentioned elsewhere, it seems to be a more "whole" approach, using top-down and bottom-up approach, rather than just one! So dealing with subconscious emotions from childhood and cognitive bias, thinking errors etc. I am sure those who have already finished the book will be better to articulate this, but this is what I am getting from the book so far.

Just as a matter of interest, which books were you reading about Shame-based responses and disconnect from the body? And were they helpful or just informative?
 

Jones

Jedi Master
#13
Laura said:
I will also warn you that reading this book might be a little bit traumatic as you recognize elements of yourself and others around you and finally understand why you - or they - act a certain way under certain circumstances. It can sure help with the development of Empathy and conscience to understand these things.
Just finished reading it today, and did find it a difficult read for the reasons mentioned. It also clarified why some, myself included, may not get full benefit of general therapy styles and approaches.

I went to Laurence Helliers website and there are a couple of questionnaires there that may be handy:

Trauma symptoms checklist: _http://www.drlaurenceheller.com/collateral/E1TraumaSCheck.pdf

Trauma resolution checklist: _http://www.drlaurenceheller.com/collateral/E2TraumaRCheck.pdf
 

Ant22

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#14
987baz said:
Ant22 said:
Seeing the book popping up on the forum recently I ordered my copy last night for next day delivery. The two quotes from 987baz made me look forward to it even more!

Both shame-based responses and disconnect from the body were widely discussed in other books I read and boy they were real eye-openers! The more I read about an issue from different perspectives the clearer it becomes and I'm really curious to see how Healing Developmental Trauma approaches the topic.

Thank you for the recommendation! :flowers:
So far, very interesting! As mentioned elsewhere, it seems to be a more "whole" approach, using top-down and bottom-up approach, rather than just one! So dealing with subconscious emotions from childhood and cognitive bias, thinking errors etc. I am sure those who have already finished the book will be better to articulate this, but this is what I am getting from the book so far.

Just as a matter of interest, which books were you reading about Shame-based responses and disconnect from the body? And were they helpful or just informative?

Hey 987baz, for me personally the books I read were tremendously helpful and I don't think I would have arrived at the conclusions I did without them. That's because on a conscious level I would not refer to these emotions as 'shame-based'. They are covered with so many buffers, narratives and who knows what else that it took proper neuroscientific and behavioural explanations of their origin and analysis of their manifestations for me to start seeing the wood from the trees.

Just to illustrate the extent of my own oblivion, the first book that dealt with shame I encountered was Fear of the Abyss: Healing the Wounds of Shame & Perfectionism by Aleta Edwards. I actually stopped reading after around 20% because I'm not much of a perfectionist and the whole shame thing just didn't seem to fit. That's generally speaking. Now I can see that the picture changes drastically when a situation involves people I care about. I am quite convinced I gave up on the book too quickly, mostly due to my own poor understanding of the concept at that time.

I'm about to finish Gabor Mate's Scattered, another book I initially approached without much conviction that it would be useful. It deals with ADD and hyperactivity and I'd say maybe 60% of the traits describe me. But when they apply they apply BIG time.

Since shame-based behaviours caught your attention it may in fact be useful to consider reading the book. Here's are a couple of excerpts that may give you an idea of Mate's take on this:

[quote author=Scattered]
If hyperactivity expresses anxiety, lethargy and underarousal expresses shame. Shame, like anxiety, is an attachment emotion. "Whenever someone becomes significant to us, whenever another's caring, respect or valuing matters, the possibility for generating shame emerges" (...). The origin of shame is the feeling of having been cut off from the parent, of having lost the connection, if only momentarily.

(...) Even the most benign parenting (...) involves some use of shaming procedures to influence behavior. (...) Shame becomes excessive if the parent's signalling of disapproval is overly strong, or if the parent does not move to re-establish warm emotional contact with the child immediately - what Gershen Kaufman calls "restoring the interpersonal bridge". Chronic stress experienced by the parent has the effect of breaking that bridge. The small child does not have a large store of insight for interpreting the parent's moods and facial expressions: they either invite contact or forbid it. When the parent is distracted or withdrawn, the older infant or toddler experiences shame. Shame postures are observed in infants in response to nothing more than the parent breaking eye contact. The demeanor of the infants of depressed mothers is one of inactivity and averted gaze.

(...) Some parents are able to express anger without making the child cut off emotionally. They convey disapproval without rejection.Other parents, especially those with self-regulation problems of their own, may react with open or choked rage, punishing coldness or dejected withdrawal that signals defeat and disappointment. (...) Each time this happens, shame is evoked in the child, especially as the parent usually believes - and makes the child believe - that whatever his (the parent's) reaction is, the child is responsible for it.

(...) Like its opposite number, hyperactivity, shame began as a normal physiological state that escaped the regulation by the cortex. It become wound tightly into the self-identity of the individual.[/quote]

Later in life a person experiences shame whenever they feel rejected and some aspects of that perceived rejection reminded me of Samenow's concept of "put down". There's an entire chapter on counterwill (linked to sense of rejection and shame) that seems to be similar to the criminal's responses to perceived put down. What made me build this link is the fact that I could personally relate to both Samenow's put down and the concept of counterwill quite well.

Mate links the origins of ADD and shame to early stages of infant development and deficits in the attachment and attunement process. The below fragment sheds more light on shame experienced by an infant when the mother breaks eye contact:

Attunement is necessary for the normal development of the brain pathways and neurochemical apparatus of attention and emotional self-regulation. It is a finely calibrated process requiring that the parent remain herself in a relatively nonstressed, nonanxious, nondepressed state of mind. Its clearest expression is the rapturous mutual gaze infant and mother direct at each locked in a private and special emotional realm, from which, at that moment, the rest of the world is completely excluded as from the womb. (...) Infants, particularly sensitive infants, intuit the difference between a parent's real psychological states and her attempts to soothe and protect the infant by means of feigned emotional expressions.
Mate also says that the child feels rejected and experiences shame not only when the parent openly displays rejecting behaviours but also when the parent pretends everything is fine when interacting with the child. That pretending is interpreted as rejection by the child because, although present, the parent is emotionally unavailable to them due to stress, depression, worries or other factors that preoccupy the parent's attention and divert it from the child.

The next book that I referred to in my previous post, and which described the origin of shame-based behaviours (among other things) is The Fear of Intimacy by Robert W. Firestone. The overlap between the above excerpts from Scattered and this book is the internalisation of the parent's rejecting behaviours Firestone describes. It would jeopardise the child's survival if the child openly disagreed with the parent's attitude so internally agreeing with the parent's reasons for rejection is in fact a coping mechanism the child adopted in order to continue to receive support and nurturing from the parent. Except that this mechanism continues to function well into adulthood and this is what The Fear of Intimacy focuses on.

Unfortunately I don't have my kindle with me at work so I won't be able to quote relevant fragments.
 

Bluefyre

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
#15
There is a meditation at this link _http://drlwilson.com/Articles/PUSHING.PRO.htm (thank you bm for bringing this to my attention in another thread) which I'm finding a helpful adjunct to the book. I do it on the days I don't do EE. It focuses on calming the sympathetic nervous system which trauma puts in a permanent state of hyper-arousal. I find it particularly helpful for those of us with strong dissociative tendencies. It focuses initially on the right hand, one finger at a time, bringing awareness back to the hand when we find our attention wandering, then both hands and eventually all the way down to awareness of the toes, grounding deeply all the while having the dual attention from the centre of the head looking out between the eyes. Laura has talked about different forms of seeded meditation, hearing, seeing or sensate and this works powerfully for me for bringing my awareness back to my body, my right hand twitches a lot, always a lot of tension in my hands and wrists, as well as pelvic area and sitting with it, noticing it but not trying to do anything about it, make it go away is all rewiring gently, one breath at a time. I used to do the Dispenza meditations and found relief from the tension but it was a dissociative kind of meditation. I'm learning now to feel safe and relaxed IN my body and bringing in more life force. I also remember Laura mentioning during EE if/when you see light to bring it into your body. This meditation is a conscious and disciplined way of cultivating this ability.

I realized the other day that this book, meditation and work directly relates in a tangible way to increasing receivership capability by healing the nervous system in a deep way.
 
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