Most of our character is created in early childhood and is influenced by the early trauma or attachment raptures in parent/child relationships. Behavior patterns are created at that time and they “rule” our lives and are beyond our conscious awareness.
Memory data is a highly edited rendition of the original stimuli, and the brain uses this to “know” what to expect in the future. The brain is wired to recognize what it has learned to anticipate the “future” experiences. In other words, when we experience the initial pain that was unbearable, the brain compartmentalizes that pain and looks for any data that fits to the pattern of the original pain and in order to “protect” us from experiencing that overwhelming experience, creates symptoms that cover the original pain. The necessity of the symptom and its creation lies in the recognition that brain perceives that suffering from the symptom is more tolerable than the suffering unconsciously expected by the psyche
Starting at birth, the relationship with one’s caregiver is a key factor in brain development, affect, autonomic nervous system regulation and the creation of behavioral patterns. This relationship is built through mirroring, touch, holding, and play, and constructs the neural pathways involved in right-to-right brain communication. Feelings of both safe and secure attachments, and feelings of insecurity and non-safety are all mediated by right brain somatic sensory-motor structures as well as are experiences of neglect, abandonment and rejection. Therefore, an early trauma can be viewed as failure of the primary caregiver to regulate the child’s bodily stimuli, resulting in the feeling of constant danger and chronic arousal.
In my experience most people report that that they don’t feel safe in the world. it could be something traumatic that they experienced in the early childhood, the attunement rapture that they experienced with their mother or father as well as generational trauma. We learn to perceive the world around us depending on the experiences our families did historically and humanity had centuries experiences of oppression, fear , survival, war, famine , etc.
The creator of Focusing, Gendlin (1984) believed that when people develop the ability to “sense their body from the inside” and experience a felt shift as “a flood of physical relief,” they go through change and transformation. Change and transformation happens in the body. The body is our emotional container and when trauma happens to us we disconnect from the body, compartmentalizing and separating mind from the body, emotions from images.
Scaer (2006) states that our somatosensory memories represent the exact pattern of muscle activity and all sensations associated with what happened during traumatic experience. Both sympathetic and parasympathetic automatic memories are represented as visceral feelings (quickening of the heart, sweat, numbness, etc. After a time, those stored visceral memories translate into chronic physical diseases. By bringing our awareness to our emotional and bodily feelings, we get a clear connection with the source of traumatic experiences and also access primary emotions that were overwhelming in the original situation.
Our work encourages free expression of the emotions that are stored in the body and the psyche to release the pent up energy that is sitting in the body from the original painful experience. That expression in a safe environment with the help of the therapist is the way to connect with the source of the pain behind the symptom that helps to rewire the old trauma and create changes in the psyche.