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Trauma Explored – A Psycho-Vibrational Exploration Of Trauma And Getting Unstuck!

Written by: Katherine Vilnrotter, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

I’m Katherine and I am a psycho-vibrational explorer. Through my wellness practice, The Love Cure, I help my clients navigate their healing journeys to heal themselves through exploring the many facets of their experience and finding balance. I do this by sharing tools that helped me heal from a life-shattering trauma almost 11 years ago. These tools originate from a wide range of perspectives: from neuroscience to social and experiential psychology, all the way to vibrational energetics and spirituality. I hope you enjoy this exploration!

Getting curious about trauma


Have you ever experienced something so scary that you thought your life was over? Perhaps your entire life flashed before your eyes? Maybe you even felt frozen, or felt a rush of adrenalin so powerful that you could have sprinted a marathon? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have experienced something that psychologists call ‘trauma’.


The vast majority of people experience 'trauma' in one form or another in their lives and to varying degrees (e.g., bullying, emotional abuse, fear of being laid off, etc.). Many times they are not even aware of it. Let's look at trauma through different healing perspectives to understand it more fully.


Through the perspective of Neuroscience (reconnecting the brain)


When we experience something traumatic, the connections between the emotional brain (limbic system) and the slow thinking brain (neocortex) constrict. This prevents the traumatic information from passing into the neocortex for processing. During highly stressful experiences, our emotional brain overrides the rest of the brain as we are flooded with stress hormones to prepare us for action. Our brain does this because it is trying to keep us safe. Imagine a lion running towards you. Do you want your fast-acting, reactionary limbic system to be in control? Or do you want your slow thinking, rational and philosophical neocortex to be in control? Only when your brain perceives that you are out of danger, can you let out a big exhale (stimulating the parasympathetic relaxation response) and begin to relax. As you relax, your brain can reconnect.


When you are in a high-stress situation, you don't have access to many of your internal resources – your intelligence, morals, personality. This happens because your brain thinks that giving you access to those resources would threaten your survival in that moment of danger. Have you ever been asked a simple question in a moment of extreme stress and not been able to answer it? This happens because you don’t have access to some of your memory information in stressful moments (which we connect to through the neocortex).


The Human Givens approach utilizes this information so elegantly in helping people heal from trauma by using a technique called 'the rewind.' The rewind helps you access traumatic information that is stuck in your limbic system (due to this stress reaction) and calms down your brain so that information can flow throughout your brain. When your brain is calm, traumatic information can pass from the limbic system (where it was stuck) into the neocortex for processing. If you’d like to know more about the human givens rewind, here is a link to an article I wrote a few weeks after I experienced the one rewind session that gave me my life and my brain back after almost five years of full-blown PTSD from a brutal sexual assault.


Through the perspective of Social and Experiential psychology (creating a new pattern)


We know that intense amounts of stress can cause a traumatic response in the brain, but why does that happen? Human Givens lays out an elegant system to describe what humans need to be mentally and emotionally well. As they put it, we have physical and emotional needs, and when all our needs are met in balance, it is impossible to be unwell. The Human Givens approach looks at what makes a person well instead of focusing on specific pathologies.


With the Human Givens approach, we look at the nine emotional needs that everyone has to fulfill in order to feel well and balanced. The source of stress is always your brain perceiving that one or more of your needs are not being met. The nine emotional needs are safety, control, status (feeling appreciated), privacy, attention, community, intimacy, achievement, and meaning/purpose. We look for unmet needs and figure out how to get them met in healthy ways. Unmet needs cause stress, and intense stress causes trauma.


The Human Givens approach also lays out a set of innate resources that have evolved along with our complex set of emotional needs, to help us meet our needs. These resources include imagination, long-term memory, dreaming brain, emotions/instincts, ability to build rapport, a rational brain, an observing self, and something that Human Givens calls 'pattern matching'. When someone comes to me as a human givens practitioner, I know their life is not meeting their needs sufficiently. One of the first things I look for is how they are using their innate resources. Are they using their resources constructively to meet their needs? Are they misusing resources making it harder to get their needs met? A great example of this is looking at how someone uses their imagination. Do they use it constructively to think through possible solutions to problems in their life? Or do they use it destructively to ruminate or perpetuate negative thought patterns? Learning appropriate skills to help utilize your resources constructively to meet your needs is extremely helpful to the healing process.


The last pillar of the Human Givens framework is ‘barriers’. There are only three types of barriers that prevent people from meeting their needs: a toxic environment, missing or inappropriate skills, or trauma (physical or emotional). When healing from trauma, it is important to understand which of these barriers are present.


In summary, it is important to help your brain process traumatic information, get your emotional needs met, and remove barriers in your life. Getting needs met reduces stress and allows more brainpower to become available to solve problems and make healthy choices. Focus on improving the environment, learning skills, and processing trauma.


Through the perspective of vibrational energetics (increasing flow)


A balanced energetic system feels balanced and centered. It has a natural flow that allows energy to move freely throughout the seven planes of nature: physical, vital, emotional, mental, and three spiritual planes (energetic structure as described by BioGeometry).


A traumatized energetic system usually holds dense pockets of energy creating imbalance and preventing natural flow. Take the physical body as an example. Our body requires many types of flow to function well: information needs to flow through our nervous system; blood needs to flow in our circulatory system; lymph needs to flow in our lymphatic system. The same is true of our energy. Along with our physical body, we have less dense energetic 'bodies' (emotional, mental, spiritual) that require flow to function.


Maintaining energetic flow is critical for overall health. For example, if there is a blood clot in your hip, it would affect your whole body. This would cause increased pressure before the clot as the blood struggles to move past it, and a lack of nourishment after the clot. It is the same with energy. Our energetic systems have a natural flow that needs to be maintained for our bodies to exchange and utilize information and nutrition effectively.


I developed a modality that I use in my Energy Harmonizing sessions that identifies sources of disharmony and helps the system regain balance. In this modality, I combine several energetic tools that I have gathered along my healing journey. I also utilize the framework and tools from BioGeometry to map and measure data points within the energy system.


Just as a blood clot could reap havoc on your physical body, an energetic block in your energy can be equally detrimental to your system. When balancing any energy system, I am always looking for what it needs (similar to identifying unmet emotional needs in the Human Givens approach). By cross-referencing information from multiple healing perspectives (such as Human Givens and Energy Harmonizing), I can better understand how to guide the system into balance. One of my favorite things to do is have an Energy Harmonizing session before and after a rewind, making it easy to see its effects on the energy system. It is always amazing to me how much energy can shift by doing a rewind.


Through the perspective of Spirituality (looking for the message)


For me, using the spiritual perspective to analyze trauma is all about finding meaning. Trauma can be an invitation to grow and expand in new ways perhaps in ways you never thought possible. A great example is a trauma I experienced.


In my 26 years of life leading up to a brutal sexual attack, I specifically remember believing deep down that being raped was the one thing I could not endure. I, perhaps naively, believed I would be capable of processing through any other type of trauma just not rape.


One perspective is that spiritually, my 'higher self' knew that I actually could endure such a thing. Maybe some part of me knew that I was stronger than I believed I was. We all know that when someone tells you that you are stronger than you think, it does not have the same weight as actually knowing through experience that you are. The trauma I experienced was horrific and life-shattering. And at the same time, eleven years later, the person I am today is much stronger than before that event. I now feel much more of my strength. I feel as if I have integrated with more of myself in a way. I feel more 'whole' now. I believe that part of that strength comes from knowing that I can survive the one thing I thought I couldn’t.


That was my path. That was a transformational experience my 'higher self' wanted to grow through. People who work through their trauma with me typically experience a progression of steps. Usually, after balance is achieved through rewinds and energy harmonizing, they can find a new perspective. They can start to understand why the trauma was part of their experience. They can then see how much they’ve grown because of it. Experiencing this type of perspective shift can be incredibly empowering.


Therefore, in tangent with the other healing perspectives (or healing languages), the spiritual component can help you find a deeper meaning and a bigger purpose to your experiences. Transforming a traumatic event from a defining moment to ‘just another data point’ in the greater context of your life, can help you understand yourself and your environment in a new way.


Shifting your experience


In summary, if you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of trauma, whether it is one big traumatic event or a series of seemingly smaller events creating a life that doesn't meet your needs, I invite you to do things that:

  • Calm your brain down so that you have access to your innate internal resources

  • Find any unmet emotional needs in your life and figure out how to meet them in healthy ways

  • Get your body and your energy flowing.

  • Do things that move your physical body, be active in positive ways,

  • Get your imagination flowing, be curious about something

  • Laugh, raise your vibration, be around people and situations that help you do that.

  • And when you’re ready, look for the deeper meaning of what you have been through


If you have trouble doing any of these things on your own, consider finding professional help to guide you through the process safely. Take the time to find a professional that speaks YOUR healing language. I believe that a critical element of a therapeutic relationship is that you speak the same language. If any of the healing languages in this article resonate with you, you can contact me to schedule a free 15 min consultation.


Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn and visit my website for more info!

 

Katherine Vilnrotter, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Katherine Vilnrotter, of The Love Cure, is a mental and emotional wellness practitioner, entrepreneur, and author. After surviving a life-shattering sexual assault while serving in the Peace Corps, Katherine spent the next 11 years healing her brain, body and energy system. When the mental health system in the US was convinced that she would always have PTSD, she wasn’t. Suffering through almost 5 years of full-blown PTSD, searching for answers and learning about what she was experiencing, she finally found the Human Givens approach. After 1 Human Givens rewind session, she could feel something shift in her brain and over the following months, she witnessed her world expand in ways she never thought possible. Now a Human Givens practitioner herself (and fully PTSD free and thriving), Katherine continues to further her healing in new and deeper ways, exploring and discovering new healing tools. Katherine is passionate about sharing the healing tools that helped her heal herself and guide her clients through their own healing journey. Her two main practices are the Human Givens approach and energy harmonizing (a modality she developed using energetic and vibrational tools such as BioGeometry, sound, meditation and brain/body connection). Through Katherine’s continued education and self-healing, she is uniquely equipped to meet clients where they are, and guide them through their own healing.

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