Body positive: Bodies, minds, trauma and becoming easeful

Music, Graham (2019) Body positive: Bodies, minds, trauma and becoming easeful. In: Psychoanalysis and other matters: Where are we now? Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 64-76. ISBN 9781138494640

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This paper focuses on trauma and the body. It describes mistakes made earlier in the author’s career in over-emphasising the importance of helping to bear pain and suffering. It was learnt that focusing on traumatic incidents too quickly could be profoundly unhelpful, re-triggering PTSD, dissociation and flashbacks. Recent trauma theory teaches the importance of facilitating a sense of safety before processing traumas, including using the thinking of Van der Kolk on the importance of body-awareness in trauma work. Attention is paid to autonomic nervous system states, and in particular of developing ventral vagal capacities and reducing sympathetic nervous system activity and dorsal vagal shut-down. The central role of the embodied countertransference is emphasised.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Psychoanalysis
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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