Why and How the Body Holds Trauma – And How To Release It
By Michele Rosenthal
There are many people working in the trauma community, many professionals really striving to understand trauma and be helpful to survivors attempting to recover.
And then there are pioneers in the trauma community, people who go above and beyond the general study and exploration of trauma to apply their creativity, knowledge and intuition to develop ground-breaking healing modalities. Dr. Peter A. Levine is one of those people and he joined me last night to talk about a slew of eye-opening ideas.
If you haven’t already read Levine’s amazing book, WAKING THE TIGER: HEALING TRAUMA, that should be the first book on your reading list. In easy prose he explains central concepts about the body and trauma, plus this core tenet: “The felt sense encompasses the clarity, instinctual power, and fluidity necessary to transform trauma.” WAKING THE TIGER is full of information and stories of actual healing that illuminate in-depth how the body responds to trauma, and then how we can respond to the body to help it process trauma out.
One of the elements that made the show so extraordinary last night is Dr. Levine himself. While he is a hero and major thought influencer in the trauma world his presence is low-key, humble and collaborative. One of those genuine souls truly and simply driven to do some good in the world, his easy conversational attitude allowed us to speak personally and creatively. On the show, Dr. Levine explained:
- what happens in the body during trauma
- what happens in the mind during trauma
- how we respond to trauma
- how trauma gets processed
- the importance of body awareness
- why so often we blame ourselves after trauma
Plus, Dr. Levine candidly answered listeners’ questions that probed his forty year devotion to working with trauma and why our bodies sometimes respond to trauma anniversaries.
As if all that weren’t enough, Dr. Levine touched on how the body experiences energy — and how the mind responds to it. This was an enormous and terrifying experience for me both during and after my trauma. I never understood it until last night. Thirty years later and 100% recovered and I’m still learning things about my trauma that makes another piece of the puzzle fall into place — now that’s a great show!
Click here to read a fascinating excerpt from Dr. Levine’s latest book, IN AN UNSPOKEN VOICE: How The Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness (available on Amazon), in which he describes his own recent traumatic experience and how using his own theories and techniques he lessened the stress of trauma.