Trauma can force us to develop strategies to help us survive what we experienced.

These actions of survival and truncated actions of survival get stuck inside the nervous system and, as we now know, the body keeps the score. Our biography becomes our biology. And then our biology informs our current and future biography. The strategies that kept us alive can keep us from fully living.
In this presentation psychologists and psychotherapists will learn how the cascade of tension and immobilization related to the ocular sympathetic/collapsed parasympathetic response can be addressed to facilitate enhanced treatment outcomes, including capacity for bottom-up self-regulation, expanded window of tolerance, and interoceptive awareness.

Course Objectives

  • Discuss trauma and addictive processes within the context of polyvagal theory and hyper- and hypo-arousal (Window of Arousal model)
  • List bottom-up strategies to facilitate self-regulation, which is foundational to all aspects of addiction recovery and trauma recovery
  • Critique ocular activation exercises for the orienting response, and ocular tension release exercises, as well as whole body orienting responses to facilitate client safeness
  • Apply somatic techniques can help to release autonomic tension patterns and facilitate interoceptive awareness