Happy Monday, OOTers. Here's a quick post about understanding trauma in more scientific terms. Having a basic understanding of the brain and its functioning in very basic terms has helped me as a therapist to understand why people behave in the ways that they do. It has helped me to be more patient and understanding with my clients as well as being able to empathize with their fears and anxieties. Below I give you just a very quick overview of how trauma can affect the brain and what the results might be. Enjoy!
Ultimately, it is the brain that processes and internalizes experiences including attachment trauma. It is the brain that mediates all emotional, cognitive, behavioral social and physiological functioning. Understanding the organization, function and development of the human brain and its responses to threat help us understand the traumatized individual.
The hippocampus and amygdala play critical roles in the processing and encoding of a traumatic event.
• The Hippocampus is the brain structure that processes information into memories. This part of the brain helps to establish long term memory and encodes the information and then consolidates it.
• The Hippocampus works with the Amygdala in deciding how one’s brain will respond to a situation.
• The Amygdala specializes in the processing of emotional information. When trauma occurs, this section of the brain can be overextended which can result in a person having difficulty controlling their emotional responses.
• Trauma often leads to changes in the stress response systems which can result in a decreased ability to self-regulate.