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Healing Childhood Trauma

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Healing Childhood Trauma As I listened to Fran Waters, MSW, MFT and author of Healing the Fractured Child, I felt I would learn a plethora of information about childhood dissociation. Children with disassociation can have a variety of somatic disturbances such as a sudden pain or numbness in the body, or pain in the genitalia. This information is critical for me to better understand my clients as many of them have endured sexual trauma as children. As the therapist explained with so much clarity, there is a disconnection between the mind and the body which launches the individual into fear and feel death is imminent. Hence, the body holds the fear but cannot express it, therefore somatic disturbances ensue. If the child is triggered, the child may begin to experience somatic symptoms and also memory problems in which they may not remember their parents. I found this compelling as my clients, I have recognized have difficulty with memory even as adults. Pathological dissociation relates to perception of the self and experiencing separate states of consciousness in which the child can experiences a variety of feelings if the child is triggered. I learned that disassociation is a primitive defense mechanism. For example, when the child finds no way of fighting or fleeing, disassociation occurs. Children will also mirror the perpetrator as this is related to mirror neurons in the brain. Waters explores the attachment history, the neurobiology at the time of the abuse, and the family system to conceptualize the client. It is compelling the thoroughness of the assessment. What is most compelling to consider, is that trauma disrupts the development of the child and ,hence unless the trauma is addressed, developing into a fully functioning adult will be difficult.

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