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posted: Aug. 06, 2020.
Daniel Siegel, MD, psychiatrist made a moving statement about his first patient who was traumatized by the Viet Nam war and the curiosity Dr. Siegel felt about understanding how trauma impacts individuals, generations, and the mind, body and so forth. This spoke to me about the value of having passion for one's work with clients. There was an emphasis of being mindful and present with the client which allows empathy to unfold and facilitates healing. Presence is a critical component to cultivate as a clinician. I was surprised to learn that there is a science of presence to consider and speaks to being more relational and empathic. The way of being and cultivating presence can be beneficial for the healing and transformation of trauma which is worth exploring. Presence enables a state of mind to emerge and a deep connecting state in which the client can be in a state of receptivity and trust along with therapist. This evokes a social engagement system in the brain which creates a receptivity in the neural processes as Dr. Siegel termed it. There was an emphasis on being open to the adaptations the client has been through and the direct imprints embedded in synaptic connections which creates resonance that engenders trust. There is a great deal of complexity to the process that I found compelling. I understood from the presentation that the mind has not been defined academically and is considered a self organizing, emergent property of energy flow, relational as well as a complex system. The discussion about the wheel of awareness practice discussed was also fascinating. The rim is where thoughts emerge and the hub brings a feeling of expansiveness. It is essentially a meditation practice that focuses the attention on a wheel with an outer rim and a central hub.The hub is deep in the ocean and the rim more on the surface. The first step is sensing the breath and allowing the sounds in the room to ground you and imagining a wheel with a central hub that represent awareness and surrounding the hub is a rim that represents anything that you can be aware of .(Part 2) This practice involves all the five senses, the internal sensations of the body, the ability to take in mental activity such as thoughts feelings, and memories, and the relational sense to the rest of humanity. There is an emphasis of being interconnected with all of life. The wheel is placed in front of the mind and visualized. I am moved to express that through listening to the podcast, I feel led to explore the interpersonal neurobiology of presence in more depth in the future in learning more about how our inner experiences connect to those of others as I see that it is an emergent field but helps us to understand the mind as well as our connection to people. I feel it can change the way that I will work with my clients that have experienced trauma in that I can provide a greater understanding of how trauma has impacted their bodies and brains.