Bodydreaming & Healing Developmental Trauma – Marian Dunlea
The wiring of the brain, the neural pathways, are laid down during the crucial years of life when the infant is dependent on the primary caregiver. The past is encoded in the present. The degree of developmental trauma caused by adverse situations and by the relationship of mother and infant determines to a large extent the infant’s nervous system responses and the attachment styles adopted to ensure survival. These behaviour patterns laid down in the early years of development govern relationships and interactions as adults. From conception onwards memory is not subject to recall in the obvious ways, but is stored as implicit memory, held in the body out of conscious awareness.
Neuroscience confirms the brain’s plasticity which ensures that we can rewire the brain,
changing the autonomic nervous system responses, and consequently shift our attachment
behaviours and heal developmental trauma. In Bodydreaming we learn tools to enable affect regulation, to produce greater ease, flow and expansion in our systems. We focus on our sensing bodies through inner and outer attunement which has the effect of changing our default responses of fight, flight, freeze, the residue of early trauma and insecure attachment patterns.
The quality of this relationship to the body lays down a new template for a secure attachment –
this time round an attachment to an embodied core sense of self. The work creates the
foundation stone for healing developmental trauma.
- Levine, P. (2010) In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
- van der Kolk, B. (1996 ), The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma, St Ives: Penguin Random House.
- Porges, S. W., (2011a) In Interview with Serge Prengel – The Polyvagal Theory for Somatic Perspectives of Psychotherapy, www.SomaticPerspectives.com
- Schore, A.N. (2001) The effects of Early Relational Trauma on Right Brain Development, Affect Regulation, and Infant Mental Health. Infant Mental Health Journal, Vol. 22 (1-2), 201-269
- Sieff, D. F. (2015) Understanding and Healing Emotional Trauma: Conversations with Pioneering Clinicians and Researchers, Hove and New York: Routledge.