The Practitioner’s Guide to Healing Developmental Trauma: Using the NeuroAffective Relational Model to Address Adverse Childhood Experiences and Complex Trauma.
BRAD’S GRADUATE THESIS
This is my graduate thesis from Union Institute & University (2004). This was a 3-year labor of love, with roots tracing even farther back. I would be honored to know you read this. You are welcome to download it here.
This study demonstrates how unresolved trauma affects individuals’ capacity to create healthy, functional lives. It describes the foundational relationship between personal trauma and social oppression that creates a cycle of dependence on lower functioning physiological, psychological, and social mechanisms. This “Cycle of Devolution” has its origin in humanity’s disconnection from its greatest resources – including, basic life rhythms, mutually-enhancing relationships, sustainable communities, and ancestral wisdom. At the very roots of modern civilization, unresolved personal trauma has impacted the social systems that shape modern life – including, child-rearing, family, education, religion, and culture. However, this trauma-induced cycle shifts as individuals successfully renegotiate traumatic experiences, altering the way they relate to themselves, their families, and the world. This paper relies on the new science of Somatic (body-oriented) Psychology to unravel the mystery of trauma and oppression. Specifically, Peter Levine’s model of Somatic Experiencing is explored in its use of healing trauma as a vehicle for personal and social transformation. Working with the thwarted physiological responses to trauma, this approach awakens individuals’ creative impulses and self-regulatory functioning. In this way, healing from trauma provides an opportunity to reorganize personal and social life.