May Peach and I attended a Trauma and Attachment Conference at CALO school in Lake of the Ozarks in May. There were several fantastic speakers, one of which is an author and consultant that we very much admire, Heather Forbes. Here is a link to her website: www.beyondconsequences.com/
We also got to hear a presentation from Ken Huey and other staff at CALO, as well as a presentation from Steve Sawyer, co-owner of New Visions Wilderness. These folks continue to grow and learn in their knowledge and direct experience at treating Trauma and Attachment with leading edge therapy and techniques.
There were two very impressive videos that were shown during the conference. One was of a mother and child interacting. The process is being videotaped by Dr. Edward Tronick. It is very painful to watch the child as the mother purposely breaks the emotional connection to the child, making a “still face”. The child gets stressed, screams, and tries to reconnect. When you think about how painful this video is to watch, it makes very clear how traumatized children can be in an orphanage where they do not get enough human interaction and connection!
Many of these adoptive children experience trauma BEFORE they are verbal, so the traditional cognitive therapy is less successful than therapies that involve sensory motor and nonverbal techniques. One of the newer insights is that certain types of yoga are successful. A book Louise is reading is called Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga, by David Emerson and Elizabeth Hooper, PhD.
The other video we liked was of a polar bear. The point of this video is that the polar bear, while stressed enough as it is being tranquilized to go into a “freeze” response, discharges his trauma in a way that animals often do, but as humans we don’t. If we worked to help people with a therapeutic process to discharge the negative emotions, many people could get some relief from a traumatic experience!