Get to know your nervous system
As a ‘bottom-up’ therapist, I spend a lot of time working with people’s nervous system. That might sound a bit odd but I think it’s important I spend a blog explaining why this is so important, especially when working with trauma.
Our body reacts, and then our mind does the thinking. This is why we might startle in fright when we see a hosepipe lying in the long grass on a summer afternoon (living in Australia) before we register that it’s a hosepipe, as opposed to a snake. That’s because the part of the brain that develops earliest in life is the brain stem – the part of our brain that is responsible for keeping us safe. The higher brain regions – the limbic system (responsible for attachment and emotional development) and the cortical brain (responsible for thinking, learning and inhibiting) don’t work so well if the lower part of the brain isn’t working very well, or is busy keeping us safe and well, or under real or perceived threat.