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Cycles of Trauma

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posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 09:31 PM
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It's impossible to forget the words on the back cover of James Gleicks "Chaos", by Douglas Adams, author of "The hitchhikers guide to the galaxy" on the subject of non-linear systems theory: "An awe-inspiring book. Reading it gave me that sensation that someone had just found the lightswitch".

Indeed. Only someone with a mind as creative as Douglas Adams could find such a perfect metaphor. It's as if, prior to the discovery of systems theory, mankind's attempts at understanding the world were akin to a man walking around aimlessly in the dark. Knocking into objects and believing it had found something important.

The moral is simple, and, although it is now being applied to analysis of various worlds of phenomena, non-linear approaches to lifes questions was already established 500 years after the founding of Buddhism by the Mahayana (middle) school. Indeed, one can see circularity in the statues of ancient India. Such as with Kali



How North American Psychiatry Denies The Power of Relationships



Unfortunately, the linear approach to the problems of the mind is still orthodoxy in North American psychiatry. To many peoples frustration, and despite the recommendations of body's as prestigious as the American Psychological Association and the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, the corrupt American Psychiatric Association, whose members pen the Diagnostic and Statistics manual for psychological disorders (which every working psychotherapist is required to purchase) now in its 5th edition, denied the interpersonal etiology of most (if not all) mental disorders by refusing to include Developmental Trauma into their newest edition of the DSM.

The DSM is truly the paragon of an anti-systems theory approach to psychological disorders. The newest addition has 300 psychological disorders, all of which describe symptoms, and all of which absolutely ignore the relational causes of those symptoms. The book is an absolute joke and an affront to human rationality. Even the British Psychological Association criticized the book, and even went more to the point, decrying the outlandish position of the APA - that psychological disorders "are genetic" - despite the "undeniable social causation of many such problems".

Why is this happening? Why such an untenable position? It doesn't take a genius to figure out that American Psychiatry and Big Pharma are in bed together. Each edition of the DSM rakes in 100 million for the association. But even more importantly, the success of the psychotropic drugging of Americans is PREDICATED ON THE LIE that mental disorders have a genetic, and not a relational, causality. So long as genes are the problems, it requires a pharmacological 'fix' to make things right again.

Intergenerational Cycles of Trauma



Trauma is so embedded in the human experience that it is exquisitely hard to notice. But attachment researchers and developmental psychologists have gone to great lengths in tracking just how development goes awry.

Take this situation. We'll need to start somewhere, so we'll assume a mother who was bullied by her mother when she was a child. We can call this 'trauma' - because its influence acts in the seams, blocking accurate perception of what her eyes show her.

In one research paradigm, a mother plays with her child while performing certain tasks. She is also being video-taped so that she can be shown afterwards what went wrong in her relating. In one scene, the child pulls back after being over-stimulated by the mother. The baby's cues say everything that needs to be said. It turns its face away; disengaging itself emotionally. But the mother doesn't register it. She pursues the baby's affections without considering what the baby's experience is exclaiming "leave me alone!".

What we see here is an obscuration of reality. What obscures is the screen of the mothers self; in other words, her history. For the mother, when someone turns away, it means "they don't like me". This is what it meant for her in grade school, high school and as an adult. The facts of her "adulthood" have wiped clean the slate of her infant psychology.

But a baby turning away is merely signaling what all baby's essentially need: space to relax and reintegrate. Every baby needs this, but only a relaxed, attuned and a self-aware mother - in short, a mother who is able to discriminate between whats happening inside her and inside her baby - is able to respond correctly to the infants needs.

Trauma works through stressing the nervous system. And inter-generational cycles of trauma subsist via ignorance of what one is experiencing.

The result of this ignorance is a society and culture where stressed out people repetitively misunderstand one another social signals in their individual attempts at managing their overburdened - anxious/irritable - nervous systems.

Trauma - and not knowing that one has suffered it. Denying the way relationships shape us, and in turn, how we provoke others into confirming our expectations of the world: this is a circle. All of the mysteries of sociology and all the hopes of a better world essentially revolves about a simple practical issue about our nervous systems: we don't forget the pain we've experienced - we merely dissociate it from our awareness.

Eventually, reification can reach such a threshold that economic practices, regulatory institutions and body's of science will bend over backwards attempting to deny what is clearly happening.

Capitalism resists the explanation because it rests on the premise that greed is good; superiority should be rewarded; and laziness should be punished. But if social context determines every individuals place, from where were born to the way we think and experience the world, then nobody is an island, and everyone, equally, is bound by the same sociological fields.

But given the dissociative processes that underlie human psychological processes, so long as might 'feels right', it'll take time for the traumas of the past to lead to sane social practices that accept - and not seek to elude - the fact that we all live within a loop. There is no ground. No gene. Our body and mind are as groundless as the earth which hangs in infinite space.

What we can do, is look rightly, and accurately, and in so doing, DECIDE upon a new way.

It is only when we do this that we can fix the traumas which we all carry within us. It is nobody's fault; not my mom, or her mom, because everyone was once a baby who was forced by the exigencies of life to organize themselves as they did. And as adults, without a proper conceptual framework, how could we know what to fix?

To quote Martin Teicher, writing in response to the APA's claim that developmental trauma "isn't real".

"Research on the effecs of early trauma tells a different story: that early maltreatment has enduring negative effects on brain development. Our brains are sculpted by our early experiences. Maltreatment is a chisel that shapes a brain to contend with stife, but at the cost of deep, enduring wounds. It is an evil that we must acknowledge and confront if we aim to do anything about the uncheck cycle of violence in this country"




posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 09:43 PM
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SnF

I dont really want to relate my own experiences with trauma (PTSD) and treating it, its still a work in progress, I did enjoy reading this and it certainly resonates with me.



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 10:10 PM
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What you're proposing is a new way to live.

I want to be free of my past trauma, but I'm trapped in a metaphorical cell gazing through the window of wonderful possibilities. I'm unaware the door or window is unlocked because I never learned to open the door. All I can do is wish

How can we move out of the cycle of abuse if we don't know of any other way but pain?

I suppose it's why religious teachers use so many parables- to show people the way.

Do you know of any examples that could help someone see the light?



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 10:33 PM
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There's a technique called Recapitulation that can be helpful. Carlos Castaneda put it forth in his writings.It's a framework worth considering.I don't think the box is necessary, though it probably wouldn't hurt.It requires ongoing practice, though I've found it a good tool for changing negative past experiences into hope for a better future...



posted on Apr, 22 2015 @ 10:53 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

A Flag for your post and encouragement to continue your studies.

I had trouble understanding what you were trying to say in your first paragraphs. Just what metaphor you were refering to. One of Doug Adams or one of James Gleck's. Hmmm

You might want to look into the very popular Psychological Method called "Family Systems" before you quote (??) how unsystemic the DSM is. I agree, but it's for the purpose of diagnosis not treatment.

Anything by Murray Bowen, MD or Virginia Satir to begin.

yourmindfulcompass.com...

www.satirpacific.org...


James Gleck's book was required reading in an introductory undergrad 'General Systems" course. It's a good introduction but I recommend (and was required to read by another Systems professor) "The Macroscope" by Joel de Rsnay which can be found in it's entirity at:

pespmc1.vub.ac.be...

The site that has the above "Principia Cybernetica Web" is all about Systems.

Fritof Capra is superb at popular writing on various aspects of systems as well.

Systems are an avocation of mine since my Dad (an early cybernetics adopter) explained the difference between a 'pile' and a 'system' to me at nine.


edit on 22-4-2015 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2015 @ 12:46 AM
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Funny, my son is currently studying psychology, so we talk a lot about it. I am always struck by the differences in approach between the American ways I am used to and the way the French approach things. We’ve both mentioned this before- the way the Europeans focus more on the interdependence of human beings, and their impact on each other’s psychology.

He was writing to me yesterday about “psychogeneology” and the way certain traumas get passed on through generations even without any verbal expression of them.

Considering the example you gave (of the mother ignoring the baby’s signals of overstimulation) brought up many different thoughts and feelings in me, not at all objective, because connected to my own experiences.

On one hand, the opinion comforts me, because I am a highly sensitive person, and my mothering relied completely on my instinctual and subtle reading of the child, and I was keenly aware of body language and responded to it. It was a time when it was the current trend to follow the lead of the baby- nurse on demand, until the child doesn’t want it any more, and all that.

But then in Europe, though they consider the environment and caretakers as the essential part of personality development, that means (most often) countering the desires of the baby. That that is the role and responsibility of the caretaker!

The signs of overstimulation are not to be heeded and obeyed- but rather, the child needs to learn to cope and process overstimulation, through experience.

In many ways, they put emphasis on this idea- letting a baby cry, so it learns to self comfort…. Always sort of pushing the limits of their immediate comfort, to help them grow in their resistance and resilience.

I must admit, it gives some food for thought! I have a tendency to look for mid ways and moderate solutions, so I wonder if it might not be best to push a bit, but not too much?

The mother that continues her actions out of a personal need (as in this case, need for physical affection, need for acknowledgement of love…) is self centered and not used to having the needs of others impact her awareness and effect her choices and acts.

Hm…so, is it such a good idea to raise another human being under the premise that his/her desires, needs, and appetites lead the direction of interaction with others???

Will that baby be then, in turn, ingrained with the basic behaviorism of ignoring what the other wants or needs, because used to having others adapt their responses to his/her own?

Generations swing back and forth as children seek to differenciate and individuate from their parents. The “me” generation of narcissistic self seekers raised XGens with low self esteem, who then in turn raised narcissistic selfie-taking kids…..it swings back and forth.

The big problem I am getting at here is-
Do it or do not do it – you will regret both. (as Kierkegaard said).

ETA- Why was I so highly attuned to and responsive to my babies? Because my mother wasn't! Because I was conditioned to see the world in a way which ignores my needs as inexistent and irrelevant. I learned to adapt to the needs of others at all times. The best solution may lie somewhere in between these extremes....

edit on 23-4-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2015 @ 01:19 AM
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This hits home for me as my daughter recently stayed at an inpatient facility 7 days. Each of the first 4 days i received a call and was expected to approve another prescription (I was only notified because i requested them to do so upon admission). She didnt need scripts...more than anything, she needed someone who would listen objectively. So the morning call on day 5, before the lady could say anything, I interjected "before we get into anything else, I was wondering when my daughter is going to get a sit-down, one-on-one with a counselor, therapist, or someone, anyone that will at least pretend to care?" Someone else got on the phone...Turned out to be the therapist who was at best half way decent. Up until she spoke with me, I was leaning ever-so closer to going and getting her out if that place. Glad I didnt, at least it made her realize how good she had it and what can happen if she doesn't fly right (need a vacation sweety?). Lol.



posted on Apr, 23 2015 @ 01:56 AM
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a reply to: FyreByrd




You might want to look into the very popular Psychological Method called "Family Systems" before you quote (??) how unsystemic the DSM is. I agree, but it's for the purpose of diagnosis not treatment.


Yes, family systems is the one part of orthodox theory that has met the stringent/selective standards of the DSM.

I agree Family Systems theory is very useful; but the main theorists don't go quite far enough in their explorations of the psychodynamics of relations.

For instance, a central tenet of attachment theory is the idea of an 'internal working model' of a significant relationship. The 'working model', is a representation in the sense that it persists in the mental meaning-making system as a "good or bad object". From initial relations at the sensorimotor level during the first 2 years of life, the world 'out there' is of significant 'objects'. The object, generally the mother, is experienced by the infant in her sensuous totality. Her voice, facial expressions, way of moving, holding her, and rocking her, consolidate into an essential 'gestalt' of her presence.

The notion of object relations applied at higher levels - with 3 and more people - different types of phenomena emerge. You can study this pretty well in chimpanzee relations and the human example is not that far off. The idea of an 'alpha male' will generally emerge, if:

a) people enact their instinctive, evolutionarily evolved drives

In terms of instinctively evolved drives, I'm referring to those 'lowest denominators' that operate when people:

i) ignore their effects on others

ii) are hyper-focused on self needs

iii) are distracted by external objects, such as in a consumerist society.

You can really map all these things out if you simply apply an accurate phenomenological understanding of human experience - which I derive from modern day relational theory, motivational systems theory, self-regulation theory, cyclical psychodynamics theory, as well as the field of interpersonal neurobiology.

You take peoples needs and you can basically arrive at a set of limits: physiological - we all have basic physiological needs that impinge on our vital, affective and emotional states; sensual/sexual drive us at times - and we certainly experience frustration and disequilibrium if were subverted when the opportunity arises; Exploration, the impulse to explore and just search and look with curiosity. Attachment, the need of another, for love, intimacy; Caregiving. The pleasure in giving pleasure to another. And we have aversions to negative experiences. We literally respond with hatred to feelings of pain, social or physical. But with social emotions, shame and anxiety, because they resonate with us an embodied, physical level, organizes from the bottom-up feeling states and emotional states that give us an intuition of the other persons experience. But sensing here, of course, does not mean the brain will interpret the affect correctly. It takes a bit of self-awareness and self-examination to notice how weakness in your self makes you hate the sight of weakness in another. And there's a simple explanation for that: if our ideal is power, and power means feeling good and expressing strength against others, than any sight of the emotions which account for what we deem 'weakness' will trigger in us a visceral response of hatred.

Mind you, this organization appears to be an evolutionary safeguard against weakness. Like a psychological immunity, the organism "ejects" those experiences not by manual self-awareness, but through automatic anger and irritability. An "outwards" push of the personality expressing hostility. It is not neutral and can't be. In a world where survival is the sole prerogative, some things become irredeemably "evil" and other things "good".

To just see how emergent properties develop at higher levels of integration, look at Islam or Nazism. You basically have have a basic idea about human nature that is enormously stringent. Strength, valor, honor, sacrifice to some 'center' takes precedence to the truth of fear, to the vulnerabilities and stresses we feel; and the burden of shame. This approach is fundamentally dualistic, which is shown by how it ascribes roles to genders. All active, and powerful (assertive) qualities is male; all passive and receptive (empathic) qualities are female. This is a relation not of inter-relation, as one side 'dominates' the other, forcing the other to submit according to the others innate terms.

This is why some people are skeptical of an Islamic transformation that doesn't include a theological reformation. So long as the core exegetical texts of the religion project a certain metaphysical picture of things (such as Allahs utter totality and the continuity between the totality of Allah and the 'revelation' of the Quran - and how it is interpreted by its major ideologues) traditional Muslims will be pulled back again and again to the ideas of Al Ghazali and not the enactive facts (science) of reality that ultimately decide how human beings respond to one another.



I had trouble understanding what you were trying to say in your first paragraphs. Just what metaphor you were refering to. One of Doug Adams or one of James Gleck's. Hmmm


Yes it could have been written in a better way. The Book is James Gleicks, the quote on the back cover - which I quote - is Douglas Adams.

I just remember reading it and feeling impressed. I understood systems theory was exactly what I felt. But I had never quite appreciated the significance that certain people felt towards it. The idea of 'turning on the light' is so final; so complete. Linearity and simple solutions is darkness, while complexity, circularity, is light.




Anything by Murray Bowen, MD or Virginia Satir to begin.


Oooh, I almost never get book recommendations. I'll check it out.

edit on 23-4-2015 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 23 2015 @ 08:06 AM
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Cycles of trauma... sure. At a basic level it is about learning, pain is wrong, pleasure is right. With all our science we still have not yet defined the boundaries of our existence, so it is a pretty complicated place. When presented with limitless possibilities a lot of failure must be explored to find a successful improvement. Trauma also works through different cultures and environments as there are lots of different ways things can and do go wrong.

I see trauma as a cost when participating in the game of life. While we all may of experienced different levels of trauma, we all have something that was the worst experience in our life. As more serious levels of trauma develop, so does the injuries, disabilities and social costs.



posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 01:13 AM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte

Yes, family systems is the one part of orthodox theory that has met the stringent/selective standards of the DSM.

I agree Family Systems theory is very useful; but the main theorists don't go quite far enough in their explorations of the psychodynamics of relations.


In terms of instinctively evolved drives, I'm referring to those 'lowest denominators' that operate when people:

i) ignore their effects on others

ii) are hyper-focused on self needs

iii) are distracted by external objects, such as in a consumerist society.


To just see how emergent properties develop at higher levels of integration, look at Islam or Nazism. You basically have have a basic idea about human nature that is enormously stringent. Strength, valor, honor, sacrifice to some 'center' takes precedence to the truth of fear, to the vulnerabilities and stresses we feel; and the burden of shame. This approach is fundamentally dualistic, which is shown by how it ascribes roles to genders. All active, and powerful (assertive) qualities is male; all passive and receptive (empathic) qualities are female. This is a relation not of inter-relation, as one side 'dominates' the other, forcing the other to submit according to the others innate terms.

This is why some people are skeptical of an Islamic transformation that doesn't include a theological reformation. So long as the core exegetical texts of the religion project a certain metaphysical picture of things (such as Allahs utter totality and the continuity between the totality of Allah and the 'revelation' of the Quran - and how it is interpreted by its major ideologues) traditional Muslims will be pulled back again and again to the ideas of Al Ghazali and not the enactive facts (science) of reality that ultimately decide how human beings respond to one another.



I had trouble understanding what you were trying to say in your first paragraphs. Just what metaphor you were refering to. One of Doug Adams or one of James Gleck's. Hmmm


Yes it could have been written in a better way. The Book is James Gleicks, the quote on the back cover - which I quote - is Douglas Adams.

I just remember reading it and feeling impressed. I understood systems theory was exactly what I felt. But I had never quite appreciated the significance that certain people felt towards it. The idea of 'turning on the light' is so final; so complete. Linearity and simple solutions is darkness, while complexity, circularity, is light.




Anything by Murray Bowen, MD or Virginia Satir to begin.


Oooh, I almost never get book recommendations. I'll check it out.


LOL - I can recommend all the books you might want.

I do not recommend the DSM and remind you it's for classification not treatment. Insurance may have arbitary 'best practices' for each diagnosis but every person is different. I don't know any practicing therpist that limits their treatment to 'best practices'. Perhaps psychiatrists, but not those on the psychology spectrum.

For 'pre-verbal' attachment issues, you might look into the energy therapies. They have been quite sucessful with PTSD.

Personally I don't think attachment issues can ever been 'cured' only overcome as it is a family issue. Karma if you will.

Which leads me to Buddhist Psychology. The Buddhists have been studying how the mind and emotions work for 2500 years and have a lot to teach us in the west about effectively working with what we are born with in order to be of maximum service in the world. Their main point of entry to mental health is, though diligent practise, moving one's locus of attention off of your self and placing it on others.

We all need to be aware and conversant with the curcumstances of our lives; however, we can never change the past or people in our lives and can only change our perception and action in the world right now. In plainer words, at some point you have to stop figuring out why you are who you are and acting/thinking how you want to be.

Six words of advice (for thinking) by Tilopa:

Don't recall - Let go of what has passed.
Don't imagine - Let go of what may come.
Don't think - Let go of what is happening now.
Don't examine - Don't try to figure anything out.
Don't control - Don't try to make anything happen.
Rest - Relax, right now, and rest.

....

And your inate goodness, intelligence and warmth will do the rest.

You might want to look into "Steps to an ecology of Mind" by Gregory Bateson

www.interculturalstudies.org...

And Eco-Psychology/Deep Ecology:

www.ecopsychology.org...

I think you are thinking too much, it's time to experience more.



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