Barry K. & Janae B. Weinhold
Moving to the LOVEvolution track from the Trauma Track involves modifying the relational template hardwired into your brain during the first three years of your life. Movement from one track of life experience to the other also requires loving and supportive relationships that modify your brain function, and ultimately, your original relational template.
This therapeutic process used to be considered a “soft science” that was difficult to measure results. In the past few years, the fields of psychology and psychotherapy have converged with the “hard sciences,” giving a much more complete biological and physical understanding of trauma and its healing. There are two areas in particular where this merger is happening: brain development and physiology and quantum biology.
Merging Psychology and Biology
Here’s an example of that shows this merger. When we get triggered and re-experience memories that involve Developmental Traumas (this is the language of psychology), we disconnect from the prefrontal cortex of our brain that helps us respond lovingly (this is the language of biology). Without even knowing it, we unconsciously jump over to our limbic brain’s hard-wired memory tracks and experience things that happened in the past (this language combines psychology & biology).
This example also gives an excellent description of “triggering” and “re-experiencing that can be described by fusing biology and psychology.”
Something in present time–a facial expression, the tone of someone’s voice, an specific relational dynamic or a sound–flips a switch in your brain and catapults you into the past. In order to reconnect with the pre-frontal cortex part of our brain, you must interrupt the signal to the hard-wired limbic response with some conscious act.
This means you must first be aware that you have been triggered into a limbic memory and an unhealed developmental trauma. Then you can make a conscious decision to shift from the past to the present. It is possible to change our response to trauma cues and consciously choose a different one that reconnects our awareness to the pre-frontal cortex.
Merging Science & Psychotherapy Gives You Personal Power!
This last statement is so important that we want to say it again: It is possible to change our response to trauma cues and consciously choose a different one that reconnects our awareness to the pre-frontal cortex. What we are saying is that you can be in charge of your emotional states! This may sound easy, but it’s not. It takes a lot of practice and using inner quieting tools such as meditation and Mindfullness Training. But it IS possible!
So an integrated pre-frontal cortex enables you to live a life that is flexible, adaptive, coherent, energized and stable. If your pre-frontal cortex is dis-integrated, it is not able to transmit information that helps you override less sophisticated impulses from your lower brain that holds unhealed developmental shocks, traumas and stresses. Here’s why working to keep your brain functioning in the pre-frontal cortex is important.
An integrated pre-frontal cortex (PFC) performs the following nine functions:
- Body regulation. The PFC can help you regulate your body reactions to unhealed trauma.
- Attuned communication. When connected to the PFC we can connect with another person’s mind as well as our own mind. We can attune to another person without words only by looking into their eyes.
- Emotional balance. The PFC helps us regulate our emotions when they are triggered by the memory of a DT.
- Response flexibility. The PFC allows us to reflect before we act and then respond after we have more completely assess the situation.
- Empathy. The PFC enables us to know what someone else is feeling.
- Insight. The PFC helps us begin to make sense out of our thoughts and feelings by connecting past and present to predict the potential future at any given moment in our life.
- Fear modulation. The PFC has the capacity to help us calm down when the fear factory in our limbic brain goes into over-production.
- Intuition. The PFC is where we process signals from various parts of our brain and enables us to intuitively decide the best course of action.
- Morality. The PFC is where we construct our sense of morality and can apply that to our decisions about ourselves, other people and the world around us.
Individual MindBody Therapeutic, Coaching and Psycho-education Interventions
Here are some of the most successful interventions we have used to help people clear the trauma from their limbic brains and repattern their relational template.
Goal:To help individuals individuate
- Use of self-inventories to uncover hidden & unhealed developmental shock/trauma/stress from early childhood.
- The therapist attunes with clients & follows their process.
- The therapist creates an attuned relationship with the client
- The therapist does appropriate personal sharing and modeling.
- Clients learn to use the Trauma Elimination Technique.
- Clients learn about Drama Triangle dynamics and how to get off the Triangle.
- The therapist facilitates the Parental Completion Process.
- Clients learn emotional regulation skills (breathwork, centering, holding work)
- The therapist reframes client’s presenting problems to facilitate the healing-in- process)
Results: Most clients make significant progress in 3-6 sessions, and some choose to do more extensive work.
Couple Interventions Co-Therapy, Coaching and Psycho-education Interventions
Goal:To shift couple dynamics from competitive to one based on cooperative support.
- The therapist uses the Couple Sculpting Diagnostic Tool.
- The therapist teaches couple conflict resolution skills using worksheets for each type of conflict from CR book)
- The therapist reframes the presenting issues into a healing paradigm.
- Couples learn about Drama Triangle dynamics and how to get off the Triangle.
- The therapist helps couples shift from a competitive to a cooperative approach in resolving conflicts.
- Couples use structured role-playing to help heal early incidents of shock, trauma or stress & to help complete the developmental processes from that time.
- Couple completes Betrayal Clearing Exercise.
- Couple learns how to recognize and reclaim projections.
Results: More sophisticated couples learn skills to work on the unhealed shock, traumas or stress that appear in their relationship in 3-6 sessions. They report success in helping each other heal their developmental shocks, traumas or stresses.
Family Co-therapy, Process consultation and Coaching Interventions
Goal:To shift family dynamics from competitive to one based on cooperative support.
- Home visits Conduct therapy in clients home. (S, T & St)
- Provide process consultation at Family Meetings (St)
- Teach couple new parenting skills especially limit-setting and discipline skills. (St)
- Provide family members with experiences of a supportive family climate. (St)
- Coach members in restoring emotional balance during family interactions. (S, T, & St)
- Teaching family members how to recognize and reclaim projections. (T & St)
Results: Family climate became more positive and supportive, with more direct expression of positive feelings, and more effective limit setting by parents. Family meetings implemented to provide family structure.
Community Interventions: The Kindness Campaign (violence prevention program)
Goal:To shift the community climate from fear-based to one based on love and kindness by providing residents with public recognition of their kind behaviors.
- Distributed over 80,000 Kindness Buttons (Spread Kindnessits Contagious) Buttons to be worn and passed on when witnessing an act of kindness
- Media (TV, radio, print, electronic) emphasize reporting on acts of kindness
- PSA’s by community leaders on the importance of kindness
- Kindness Line to report acts of kindness (over 22,000 calls). End evening TV news show with one of the calls.
- News stories about acts of kindness of residents (T & St)
- Neighborhood and community-wide awards ceremonies honoring the kindest citizens.
Results: TV viewers survey after 6 months showed that 75% of those polled believed the Kindness Campaign had significantly reduced violence in the community.
Successful School Interventions The Kind & Safe Schools Initiative (bullying & put-down prevention & character education)
Goal:To change the school climate from negative to positive by emphasizing recognition of kind acts.
- Conducted staff in-service training. (S, T & St)
- Trained teachers to distribute Kindness Buttons to students displaying kind acts. (T & St)
- Held school-wide recognition assemblies to honor the kindest kids. (T & St)
- Created a character education curriculum embedded in all subject matter classes. (T & St)
- Taught conflict resolution to all students (T & St)
- Establish a peer mediation program. (S,T & St)
- Developed a bullying & put-down prevention program. (S, T & St)
- Initiated a restorative justice approach to the school discipline program. (S, T, & St)
- Educated with parents on kind discipline methods through the PTO organizations. (S, T & St)
Results: Reports of bullying & put-down behavior reduced by over 90%, and discipline referrals dropped by 35%.
Successful Business Interventions Developmental Process Consultation
Goal: To shift the organizational climate from competitive to supportive & cooperative.
- Do collaborative data-collection with key managers and employees to determine where incomplete developmental processes were interfering with the evolution of the organization. (S, T, & St)
- Provide process consultation at key organizational meetings. (S, T, & St)
- Conduct coaching session with key executives (S, T & St)
- Train employees & managers in systemic ways to recognize kind acts (T & St)
- Train employees in skills to address the effects of their unhealed developmental shock, trauma and stress on their job performance including conflict resolution skills. (S, T & St)
Results: Employees empowered to change the work place climate from competitive to supportive & cooperative, with higher employee morale and fewer turnovers.