Video Transcript with minor Modifications
“The core principle of modern trauma therapy is a new perception. And this new way is leading to a state change vs. a long-term, year long psychotherapy based on psychodynamics. The missing part is the biological substratum, which exists below all the manifestations of symptoms, problems, of illnesses. They all have a common biological basis. And this basis is described by the Polyvagal Theory from Dr. Steven Porches. If you read this paper, and there is a book available which is a summary readable for everyone, you will understand, how people work, how the nervous system works, why things in psychotherapy or spiritual traditions don’t work. This missing point is the brainstem area of the brain. Because this area is very close to the physical body, to the physical perceptions, the implicit memories. And this layer has been ignored so far because the knowledge was missing. The idea that healing and psychotherapy takes a long time, even years, is for many people not true.
Because: what we suffer from is not the past, it is the state of the autonomous nervous system right now, today. It’s the physical body. So we never suffer from the past, from stories, from things we experienced. We always suffer only from the state of the autonomous nervous system how it is today. How the nervous system has come to this state of distortion is irrelevant!
If I’m able to help a person to self-regulate, that a shift happens on this layer of the nervous system, the person immediately feels healed! My personal experience as a healer and trauma therapist, is that this process, this state change needs only a few minutes! Only a few minutes, this is my experience. It doesn’t need years of psychotherapy! It means minutes, if you know what you’re doing.
And what you have to do is this: help the deeper layers of the nervous system to realize that now the contact with me, or the situation alltogether, is safe. And that all the suppressed activation of rage, anger, hate is fully and totally and completely welcome now here with me. If you’re able to do that, than your patient/client will have a completely new experience in his body and all the stress will dissolve.
Because stress is always suppressed activation for fight and flight. And if this energy is allowed to flow through the body again and is being expressed completely and is welcomed, than the stress is over, because the suppression is over .
And only then the autonomous nervous system can understand that the situation is safe. As long as this activation is suppressed, the system can not understand that the situation is safe. You can realize this from your prefrontal cortex, but the deeper layers of the nervous system can’t understand that, as long as there’s suppressed activation.
So the whole focus for helping people to get healed, to make a transformation, is to focus and direct their attention to these state changes.
And it’s finally very easy, because the autonomous nervous system knows only three states:
- The final state of security, where we feel well, happy and secure and relaxed.
- The state of activation for fight and flight, with rage, anger which is suppressed.
- The state of shutdown, dissociation and depression, where even the activation is suppressed.
With patients we deal only with two states: the shutdown and the activation state.
We first have to transfer the knowledge to the patient about the function of the autonomous nervous system, so that she gets the context of her situation. Because if she doesn’t have this information, there’s lots of confusion: the frontal cortex part, the mind knows and sees that actually there’s no problem or danger, but the body constantly fires activation and stress. The people try to solve this top-down from the frontal cortex. But this way it isn’t working.
So first you have to transfer the knowledge to the person. To tell them – the state you’re in is just a normal reaction to trauma, it is nothing special, it’s just the biology, it‘s practically completely understood, and the way out of it is actually easy, although it feels now impossible for you.
If the patient is in the shutdown state, what to do is to help him access the activation, the rage and the hate, which is always below this shutdown state. And you can do this e.g. by asking: “you’re suffering for sooo long for decades, your whole life, you have done years and years of psychotherapy which didn’t help or meditation which didn’t help, aren’t you fed up with all that? Fed up with all this suffering?”
If you ask the patient that, then he usually can access that activation, the energy which is below that. Because if you have suffered for years, even decades and no one can help you and even distracted you from the solution, it’s cooking! So this is one possibility to access the rage, the activation and to make this transition from shutdown to activation.
We always have to focus on the transition, how we can help the patient to make the transition to the next state towards security. This is the first step. Another possibility is to ask: “Hey, if one of your beloved gets attacked and harmed, what do you do? Do you stay in a depressive state, passive?” No, usually the person, if it’s about somebody else, the person feels the activation.
These are like doors to their nervous system, to their suppressed energy. And this you have to allow, to open it, and to really tell them, that this is absolutely welcome, and that this is the right way. Because there are usually some programs in front of that, e.g. spirituality, or it’s not allowed, anger is evil and so on, all this shit. And I’ve even seen people who have been told that if you get into anger, you don’t want to feel something. This can be true for certain people but for most it is about getting into exactly that!
The path to healing is always this, it‘s determined by the structure of the autonomous nervous system. And it’s simple stuff, it’s nothing complicated: we’ve got the shutdown, the activation with rage then the release and finally the state of security and healing. That’s it.
So if the person is in the shutdown state, you help to access the rage, welcome it and let them completely enter it into their body. If this is happening, then within minutes, you will see, that the patient starts the release process. And this is the shift from the state of activation of rage, hate and anger to something like sadness, or physical releasing processes like trembling. And this is already the healing. For the nervous system it means that it realises that the environment is safe. The shift from rage and anger to sadness and trembling is the shift from life thread, danger to security. Because the body starts only releasing processes and self-healing processes if the environment is safe. Otherwise it makes no sense biologically.
And then you let the client experience the release and if you ask e.g. in the middle of rage and anger: is it possible for you to feel spacy, depressive, can you feel panic or fear in this state?” Everybody will tell you: “No”. Because it’s not possible. In this physiological state it’s not possible to be depressive or have fear at the same time, it’s not possible.
In fact it’s always the same energy:
- The original undistorted free flow of life force, joy, happiness, ecstasy.
- Then the activation in case of thread and danger: rage, hate – for fight and flight.
- Then the next step towards suppression and distortion: panic, fear.
- And then finally the shutdown: depression and self-destruction.
It’s ALWAYS the same energy, just manifesting in different ways: at the beginning undistorted, at the end completely distorted. But the energy is always the same, because we can’t suppress energy. During the whole path of healing you deal with the same energy. And we help the person to bring it back into the original flow.
Something like fear does not exist. Fear means the activation is suppressed, is not allowed, that rage, hate, etc. is not allowed. If that happens, the person experiences this energy as fear. But fear as a thing alone doesn’t exist. As I mentioned, if a person is fully in activation, he can’t feel fear, it’s impossible. During fight or flight you don’t have fear. Fear comes, if you suppress the body movements for fight and flight, or fight and flight is not possible, only then.
And if we focus on that, on these state changes, this is a completely different work than usual psychotherapy. And it’s much easier, you’ll see that your patients will… – you won’t believe it what will happen. Of course, later on, if the system is regulated, than it may be necessary to work on higher levels like changing old inapprobiate mental structures. But without this relaxation in the body it makes no sense, it doesn’t help. This is the basis of all healing: the regulation of the autonomous nervous system.”
Many Thanks to Sarah for the transcription!