underpins the capacity for connections.
Our greatest desire is to feel alive.
Meaninglessness, depression and many other symptoms
are reflections of our disconnection from our core vitality.
When we feel alive, we feel connected.
When we feel connected, we feel alive.
Although aliveness brings mental clarity, aliveness in not primarily a mental state;
nor is it sensory pleasure.
Aliveness is a state of energetic flow and coherency in all systems of the body, brain, and mind.
Human beings respond to shock and developmental and relational trauma by dissociating
The result is dimming down of the life force that leaves a person, to varying degrees, exiled from life.
Working with the roadblocks that are in the way of reconnecting with aliveness is a
key organizing principal. The biological completion of emotional states
puts us progressively in touch with our core aliveness. One way is, identify, clarify and express emotions.
Understanding how the child in us made adjustment and distortions in reaction to adaptations to environmental failures in our environment. That failure is in learning the capacity for self regulation.
The healthy connection between a well regulated mother and infant is of essential importance
in sharing the development of the infant's capacity for regulation.
Each time a mother successfully soothes her baby she is effectively regulating her baby's nervous system.
Chronically depressed, anxious, angry, or dissociated mothers impact their developing infant;
the disruption of the connection between infant and mother is traumatic.
If the regulation process between mother and infant is disrupted, the infant does not develop the core capacity for regulation. If a mother's capacity for self regulation is compromised,
she cannot soothe herself and therefore cannot soothe her baby's nervous system.
A compromised capacity for self regulation can negatively impact a person for a lifetime.
If a healthy capacity for self regulation does not become an integral part of our early development, we become
de-stabilized, and without this essential foundational element, life can be a struggle.
Emotional dysregulation is believed to be at the core of an individual's increased vulnerability to stress and trauma and is seen to be a foundational element of psychological and physical problems.
As adults, when in a state of dysregulation we turn towards those coping strategies to obtain the regulation we need, often at any cost. For example, the need to feel regulated is so strong that people smoke despite the fact that they know it is damaging to their health. Smoking seemingly functions as a emotional regulator becasue nicotine reduces anxiety and, for a short time, can relieve some depression.
Dysregulated individuals smoke to gain a sense of relief even though they know it causes health risks. Attempts to stop smoking or give up any sort of self destructive and compulsive behavior, such as drugs, alcohol, hyper-sexuality overeating, overworking, often fail becasue it is very difficult to give up a means of self regulation even when it is unhealthy until it can be replaced with a better form of regulation.
There is a healthy ways of regulating the nervous system by emphasizing the connection to the parts of the self that are organized, coherent, and functional. Analyzing problems and the focus on what has gone wrong does not entirely support self regulation. One of the first steps towards aliveness is to understand and work with emotions in context of increasing the capacity for aliveness, identify the distortions of the adaptation for self regulation and identifying support for regulative states that puts us more in touch with our aliveness.
Healing Developmental Trauma - Heller, LaPierre