Body cues and Mindfulness of Body sensations
as essential support for Trauma therapy Resiliency and Transformation, in crisis.
The latest brain research shows us that Trauma is not in the event but mainly in the way our organism has perceived it. This stance has been in the base of Buddhist psychology thousands of years ago. Mindfulness, the ancient practice of being aware of one’s sensory experience in the present moment without judgment, is a self reflective technique which can help create a pause between stimuli and response. It also may initiate healing by activating and strengthening the middle prefrontal cortex functions, the same functions that Daniel Siegel has described as essential to the experience of well being, as well as instigate positive change in brain grey matter as Murakami has shown.
Recent studies support the notion that being mindful, does indeed improve immune function, enhance a sense of equanimity and clarity and may even increase empathy and relational satisfaction. Mindfulness intervention in its reducing of the levels of inflammatory cytokines and cortisol, may affect and limit the unfolding of the shock/traumatic process in the organism.
Trauma robs us of the present moment. Unprocessed pain keeps our system of self-preservation on permanent alert. Where trauma has been, the cognitive process is short-circuited by the surge of painful and intense stimulation. Instead of “processing the experience” one reverts to a more primitive form of encoding-through physical sensations and images, in an implicit embodied mode. Even though the actual danger is past, the trauma, undigested and locked energetically in our Soma, randomly breaks through into consciousness.
As such the act of self reflection in the here and now, kindly, non grasping, with a strong emphasis on the language of sensations, negotiating the teasing apart of the coupled pathways in the mind-body system in a non narrative stance, may be a useful elegant and even insightful tool for working with trauma and stress. Even just the mastering of being able to follow charge and discharge, or resourcing; as Peter Levine has highlighted.
In this presentation I would like to share my experiences with these tools in a cross cultural multi faith environment, women groups, and refugee centers in South Africa, Israel, and Turkey. In our humanitarian work, the ToWo group, we have found that this psycho-physical approach, the MBSE, Mindfulness Based Somatic Experiencing, SE and CRM serve as emotional support in times of crisis, help retrieve a sense of mastery, and are easily understood.
The presentation will have a theoretical component, and an experiential part. Q & A will be welcomed as well.
Our internal stance- toward our own mental processes may lead to enhanced well-being. A state of kind and curious somatic attentional focus may alter the relationships between various encoded memories and mental pathways. It seems to be the core of health, as well as a beneficial opening to compassionate communication.
Juditta Ben David M.A SEP
Psychotherapist, lecturer and supervisor. Trauma therapist, movement therapist and body-focused psychotherapist for 24 years. She has studied with leading teachers across the world; Individual & couples therapist, group facilitator, an international trainer for Trauma and Resilience: SE, MBSE, DARe, CRM and more. Juditta is a SEP, and an academic lecturer at Tel Hai College, Department of Stress and Trauma at the School of Social Work.
A curious student and teacher of the Buddhist worldview since 1990 (IMS Mass.), Juditta is a meditation teacher at the Insight.il ngo (Tovana), a seasoned facilitator of sitting study and practice groups in Buddhist practice and psychology, as well as an Adv’ MBSR teacher from Bangor U and the founder of MBSE.
Recently invited by the Red Cross and the Ministry of Health, Juditta trained social workers in the hospitals of the Northern region, in tools based on mindfulness and neuroscience: Ways to deal with trauma and build resilience, across cultures, w/refugees, in times of crisis.
She taught mental health practitioners and midwifes of the Rambam Hospital IL, and at the American Hospital TR. She taught group therapy at Lesley U and Wingate Institute: Loss grief death and pain, and Mindfulness in group and individual psychotherapy.
Taught annual courses in a number of alternative medicine schools, at Lesley University for MA students in expressive therapy, Safir center and Mimar Sinan U: Mindfulness and movement, AUM, and at the Achva ngo for spiritual guidance at the end of life.
Juditta was one of the founders of the Psycho-dharma School, and is the initiator and director of the humanitarian ToWo Group for Mindfulness based multicultural work, in South Africa, Ireland, the Galilee IL, and currently with Syrian refugees and counselors in Turkey and Greece.
The ToWo Group has recently developed the MiA-Mindfulness in Arabic Project in cooperation with the international mindfulness community.
Among other things Juditta is a singer, loves music, and lives in an Eco village on the Mediterranean hills.
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