Developmental trauma, by our definition, is caused by breaks
in the sensory bond that connects children with their caregivers. This sensory
bond happens through skin-to-skin, eye-to-eye, ear-to-ear and
right-brain-to-right-brain contact that creates a resonant field of
interconnected energy.

Allen Schore’s introduction of language from quantum

sciences into the study of infant and children’s mental health has been a real
gift. He uses terms such as emotional synchrony, attunement and resonance to
describe this sensory bond between children and their caregivers, particularly
their mothers. Language from quantum sciences is also very useful in describing
what happens to young children when this sensory field of attunement gets
disturbed or even shattered. Schore uses terms such as misattunement and relational
trauma to capture the nuances of events and experiences that disrupt this
adult-child bond.

From our perspective, developmental trauma is a form of
relational trauma that happens over a long period of time. The effects of these
subtle experiences gradually accumulate over time, and eventually delay
children’s bonding with their mother and other caregivers. This eventually
delays their psychological development.

Based on our clinical work, we found that the more bonded
children are to their mothers, the more able they are to complete their
psychological birth and the process of individuation. We emphasize exactly
these points in our books, Breaking Free of the Co-Dependency Trap and The Flight
From Intimacy.

The Impact of Developmental Trauma on Adult Relationships
The template for all human relationships is formed during
the first year of a child’s life. It is created directly and exactly from his
or her interactions with the mother. This template serves as a program that
repeatedly reconstellates itself in all subsequent relationships. It becomes a
melodic theme that is repeated in many musical keys and different tempos.
Emotionally the feeling themes, beliefs and outcomes are identical.

I (Janae) remember my effort to explain this dynamic to my
youngest son, who works as a construction superintendent in the home building
industry. I began by talking about the footers on which the foundation was
poured and likened them to the period of pre-conception. Then I talked about
the condition of the soil where the footers were poured and then the importance
of the poured or cement block foundation being absolutely square.

Being the bright young man he is, he quickly got the point
and began talking in rapid-fire mode about a house hed worked on with an
out-of-square foundation and all the problems hed had with the framers, the
drywallers, the plumbers, tilers and the finish carpenters. The house had been
a nightmare for him, he said, because at every turn, the subcontractors had to
compensate for this early developmental trauma.

Unlike out-of-square houses, it is possible to modify the
impact of developmental trauma on the human mindbody. This is the premise in
the fields of of developmental psychology and traumatology, which now focus
intensely on clearing trauma from the mindbody AND from the relational
template. This premise is also at the heart of Developmental Process Work, our
clinical paradigm for working with individuals, couples and the central focus
of Developmental Systems Theory, our model for helping larger systems evolve.

Youll
find a wealth of information and tools for resolving intractable conflicts
caused by unidentified and unresolved developmental trauma
HERE.

And for information on developmental parenting, go HERE.




Further Reading:

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About CICRCL

The Carolina Institute For Conflict Resolution & Creative Leadership (CICRCL /“circle”) is located in Asheville, North Carolina. It was founded in 1987 in Colorado Springs, Colorado and moved to North Carolina in 2003. Its Co-Directors are Barry K. Weinhold, Ph.D. & Janae B Weinhold, Ph.D.

CICRCL can be reached at P. O. Box 2668 Asheville, NC 28802 and cicrcl@weinholds.org.

CICRCL is a 501 c (3) non-profit, tax-exempt Colorado corporation that provides “evolutionary resources for shifting consciousness,”including books, reports, articles, workshops, trainings, consultations, coaching and retreats for individuals and couples.

CICRCL also collaborates with ROZRADA, a sister-NGO in Kiev, Ukraine that is directed by Valentina Bondarovskaya, Ph.D.

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Photographs of Western North Carolina courtesy of Alan Ostmann. Please visit his amazing gallery @ ileaveonlyfootsteps.com

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