GROSS TRAUMA AND SUBTLE TRAUMA
Trauma is when an individual is physically, emotional, mentally or spiritually damaged… which is approximately 99.9% of us.
REPRESSION & SUPPRESSION
Yet, the defence structures that have evolved over 100,000’s of years to protect the vulnerable and easily damaged human organism ‘suppresses/represses – buries’ an emotional trauma within a split second, fooling us into thinking, we have not been impacted by ‘the incident’ or we have ‘gotten over it’ or the event of trauma will not impact us etc. Not so. You see REPRESSION is such an effective mechanism that our unconscious defences literally ‘bury’ the trauma of a painful experience as it is happening – before our conscious mind can even register we are being traumatized. The repression mechanism is that effective and ingenious. SUPPRESSION on the other hand is something that happens over hours and days, weeks, months and years even. It is a conscious act. As repression is an automatic – out of our control – instantaneous phenomena. Supression is something that happens short to medium term – after the traumatic incident – and is actually something we to a certain extent consciously do ourselves. It looks like this. We experience a traumatic experience and we feel pain, maybe cry and feel fear. Then we calm down a bit and whenever we think bout it, in order not to feel more pain we distract ourselves, think of something different, tell ourselves “NO”, “I am not going to burst into tears here in front of everybody again” etc. This goes on for a while and overtime we cringe, tense up and contract whenever we think of the experience and not let ourselves cry, or scream or feel the rear &terror, we lock the traumatic emotions into our various muscle groups. The body become the equivalent of a ‘data memory bank’.
TRAUMA IS BEYOND WORDS
Traumatic events are almost impossible to be put into words. Words which are merely thoughts with air behind them, thoughts and talking about trauma – putting traumatic experiences into words, by their very nature are limited as trauma occurs mostly on the emotional level – not mental/
thinking level and thats where words fail us straight away, having only a limited ability to conceptualise what is in nature beyond words.
EMOTIONAL LEVEL MEMORY AND CELLULAR MEMORY IS THE ‘NEW FRONTIER’ IN ‘MENTAL ILLNESS’.
We now know its ‘Emotional Level & Body Cellular Level Memory’ that is the next frontier of exploration in mental health. The very fact society agrees to call it ‘Mental’ Health is a reflection of our attitude to it – Mental. Mental level thinking and conceptualising. This is why ‘Talk therapy’ is usually ‘mental level’ rehashing. To heal a trauma you must feel it.
TO HEAL YOU MUST FEEL
Emotional Level Memory is rarely tapped through ‘talk therapy’ and when it is, it is often times only the surface level pain, its surface level grief and anger and fear. The true depth of the feelings, unless fully allowed to surface, will never genuinely heal. That is why you can see a psychologist for years on end about the same issue and feel like you are not quite ‘healing’ or ‘getting anywhere’ . Yes, it is always beneficial to have a ‘download’ or to ‘debrief’ with someone, to get stuff of our chest, but genuine deep healing from this is far, far from guaranteed.
The next, collectively accepted view gaining traction is that our emotions have an incredible power over our body. Emotions are held in our physical body in the form of neuromuscular tension. True emotional intelligence is finally here. This neuromuscular tension is often referred to as ‘Cellular Memory’. Pointing to the notion that traumatic memories are even actually held in the physical cells – on a physical body level.
Unless this Emotional Level and Cellular Level memory is released, Trauma will always impact us and limit the quality of our lives.
For this next frontier of therapy, taking people into a whole new paradigm of freedom and wellness and happiness, we also have the next level technique, what those who have experienced it all agree is going to become the ‘Future of therapy’ and it is called the ‘Cathartic Breathwork’ Technique – In its true essence, it is a ‘temporary defence displacement’ technique that allows you to access parts of your psyche –
your unconscious – specifically the trauma it holds via neuromuscular tension in different parts of your body and thus with support from an experienced Cathartic Breathwork orientated psychotherapist, enables you to release it permanently. Yes, permanent release of layers of trauma for PERMANENT RESULTS.
THE LIMITS OF TRADITIONAL PSYCHOLOGICAL & PSYCHIATRIC THERAPY
If this was not so serious it would nearly be funny, but the tragic reality of it is this. It is almost criminal that psychologists and counsellors will take someones money for years on end, on a weekly basis and both the client & therapist are subscribing to the paradigm that genuine trauma healing is occurring. This is not the therapists fault – please do not get me wrong here – The majority of therapists are well meaning with a genuine desire to help fellow man – why be in the profession otherwise? Nor am I saying that benefits do not occur, because they obviously sometimes do – we all need to have a ‘download’ with someone regularly, though if the only person you have a download with and talk about your feelings with is someone you pay, you actually have a whole different issue that needs to be addressed – that being forming genuine friendships with people who are emotionally intelligent and who you feel unjudged by, so as to feel safe enough to open up and be vulnerable yourself. THAT is what genuine friendships actually look like. It is a sad state of affairs that the majority of society does not experience this level of connection & support in their lives and have to actually pay for it. Pay for something many people experience on a daily basis with genuine, meaningful friendships. Though then, people do pay for companionship and sexual gratification so I guess this is just another symptom of the level of connection that much of society is at. Unfortunately, whether talking/debriefing to a friend or ’talking to’ a counsellor or psychologist only goes so far. People spend years and decades doing it trying to sort out the one or two main issues. The truth though is genuine deep healing and a life transformation outcome does NOT have to take the countless years and often decades as it does with talk therapy and outdated mainstream approaches.
It is not a therapists fault – like our unconscious – the ‘we do not know which we do not know’ aspect, so too with classical university trained psychologists and psychiatrists – they do not know what they do not know. Everybody is doing the best they can with what they have been taught.
The fault lies with the stubborn inability of most psychology, psychotherapy and counselling degrees to be able to catch up with what has been made available to us over the last few decades in the field of emotional trauma healing. Usually, simply because it does not fit the criteria set on the education boards ( which are 50 years behind times at best ) and also, lets face it, because emotional trauma, by its very nature is so painful, unpleasant and ugly that very few people want to, let alone even dare to, go there – both the clients who need to go there to heal the trauma at the root level permanently AND the therapists ( psychologists and psychiatrists ) who would need to go through years of experiential work on their own emotional trauma to understand how the emotional trauma system and release process truly works.
Without going through their own emotional trauma healing process, how can psychologists and psychiatrists expect to have a genuine map of the unconscious and hence the directions necessary to navigate it? How can they possibly then be expected to take other people there?
WE ARE EMOTIONAL TRAUMA RELEASE SPECIALISTS
This is where we differ. Our therapists, from the Founder & Program Director all the way down to our facilitators and assistants, are thoroughly trained via undergoing a process of emotional trauma release work themselves over a period of many years, even decades, so as they are left with a genuine experiential understanding of the map necessary to take others through their own unconscious trauma healing.
Which would you trust with your psychological health – Psychologists who study ‘other people case studies’ written about in TEXTBOOKS… people who do not require to do any serious emotional trauma release work on themselves to graduate their training – This basically means its the blind leading the blind in the therapy room.
Or would you have the sense to rather trust your psychological health in the hands of someone who has been there themselves – has healed their own depression, anxiety, addictions and PSTD using up – to – date techniques and now has the genuine skillset and EXPERIENTIAL know how to do the same for you?
THE ROLE OF TRAUMA IN MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES
The role of trauma in mental health issues such as depression and anxiety is often over looked and misunderstood to such an extent that many people think mental health issues are a mystery. This may be the case for some, but NOT for us.
Science has not helped with its contribution of reducing some mental health issues down to a ‘chemical imbalance’ which can be ‘treated/ managed’ by ‘adjusting’ medication until the right ‘stabilising’ medication and dosage is reached.
This in itself is an interesting narrative, a very interesting way of saying:
“ Mrs Smith, we are going to give you a mix of something similar in chemical structure to amphetamine and cocaine to make you feel good, with a splash of nervous system & mind numbing tranquilliser added in order to mellow you out. We are going to give you different versions of these drugs, in different amounts until you are numbed out to your feelings and senses, but energetic enough to get up and go to work… You know, until we ‘get the right dose’ and ‘stabilise’ you…”Oh, by the way, you will have major side effects such as suicidal ideation, loss of vitality endowing libido, a fogging over of your thought processes, you will become a different person to who your wife/ husband married and overall will not be able to feel connection with people like you used to, there will be an enhancement of negative feelings at times and you will become physically and psychologically dependant on these drugs….withdrawal symptoms from which are often on par with cocaine or heroin withdrawals.”
“But hey, better then listening to your feelings that you are in emotional pain, and doing something natural, positive and life affirming about it, undergo emotional growth, make positive changes in your mental and spiritual outlook and actually undergo personal growth & evolve spiritually and as a human being, right?”
TYPES OF TRAUMA – GROSS TRAUMA AND SUBTLE TRAUMA
The main misunderstanding comes from what we have collectively come to label as ‘Trauma’. Especially how relevant it is and how we are ALL riddled with complex trauma. As a human you cannot escape being traumatised.
Thats right, one does not have to be a combat soldier or a woman and her children in a refugee camp in Syria, or to be raped, assaulted by a parent, sexually molested as a child to be traumatised. Oddly enough, it is these levels of trauma that are often the easier level of trauma to heal. I say this because they are obvious, they are what I refer to as ‘Gross Trauma’ – they are blatantly traumatic experiences, things that have occurred in a tangibly devastating manner. When people have experienced trauma on this level they know that they have been traumatised. There is a reason which ‘makes sense’ why they are suffering – they have went through an obviously very impactful & painful experience. It is for this exact reason – the ‘obvious’ traumatic event – that I have found makes the healing journey a bit ‘easier’. There are obvious starting points for therapy & treatment. In the individuals mind they have a solid and tangible reason why they are suffering and they can get right down to work on dealing with the trauma they already have an awareness of. There is no mystery to why they have ‘depression’, have suicidal ideation, are manic depressive, disassociated and so forth.
The real & serious issues we are witnessing being played out on the world stage at the present moment in the form of massive scale drug addiction & alcoholism, the increased incidence of death by suicide, an epidemic of depression, PSTD symptoms with no ‘real cause’, increased violence and many other societal issues is the phenomena of un – acknowledged, hence ignored ‘Subtle’ level trauma. This is when an individual has not experienced a ‘Gross’ Level trauma, but has an accumulation of subtle level traumas which are not so subtle in their effects though. It is going to take the acknowledgement of these ‘Subtle’ Level Traumas before we see tangible changes in the level of addictions, mental health issues and suicide.
THERE ARE 2 MAIN TYPES OF TRAUMA
1. GROSS TRAUMA
This is the ‘Gross’ as in obvious category of trauma. Sexual Abuse, Rape, War Trauma, Accidents, Physical, Emotional and Mental abuse from a parent etc. It is OBVIOUS TRAUMA. Some say people with this category of trauma are the lucky ones as they know what is behind there issue like depression, an OBVIOUS/GROSS Trauma.
2. SUBTLE TRAUMA
Subtle usually falls into the category of ‘normal’, so people miss the fact that they are also majorly traumatized, do not realize it as they have experienced SUBTLE trauma, and can spend a lifetime trying to find the mysterious cause behind their issue such as depression. It is only through Cathartic Breathwork that we have been able to uncover how deep and easily we are hurt through supposedly ‘normal’ occurrences in life.
- Conception trauma – Most people are here to fill in a void for a parent or two.
- Womb Trauma, such as listening to a father not wanting another child whilst in the womb and deciding you are ‘Not Wanted’.
- Birth Trauma – a list of trauma cases so long that even if we devoted this whole website we would not have enough space to list and describe the variations of Birth Trauma.
- Circumcision Trauma – The boy child does not look into his mothers eyes after circumcision due to the feelings of betrayal. 90% of Rape, Violence towards women, sado-masochistic sexual violence is perpetrated by circumcised men still getting out their rage at mum back.
- Infancy Trauma – helpless, hopeless, needed emotional love needs for 2/3 years.
- Specific Parent Trauma –Such as controlling/ invalidating father, absent father, neurotic mother, smother mother, sibling issues etc.
- Unmet Emotional Love Needs –For example your parents not speaking your love language. This is vey subtle, but far, far from
- Words of Affirmation – people who need to hear ”I love you”, “I am so happy we are together”, “you complete my life” etc.
- Gifts – Receiving gifts is the main way others feel loved, hence they naturally give gifts to express their love for others.
- Acts of Service – Some people need things done for them, car, room, office cleaned, driven around etc. to feel love.
- Physical Contact – Hugs, touch, kissing, sex, love making.
- Quality Time – when a parent stops, is out of their head and fully present to the child, without distractions, love enters the child through the eyes. Consciousness is love as Yogis tell us.
- School Trauma – Confusion, inappropriate teacher behaviour, teasing, confusing etc.
- Religious Trauma – Massive, too long to describe.
The problem is in the common narrative around trauma and what is ‘perceived’ as trauma. This is because some of these ‘subtle level traumas’ are in fact ‘normalised’ and have become part of our ‘culture’. More then that, the majority of subtle trauma cannot be avoided – if you are human, here on earth you have been traumatised simply through the act of being born and raised in your family of origin, and when not the case it comes from a misjudged view of human ‘resilience’ and the fact that we are in actuality incredibly sensitive beings who are traumatised very, very easily.
I will give you an example of what I mean by normalised and/ or cultural traumatisation.
In Australia approximately 32% of men are circumcised. We have been ‘sold’ on circumcision by Doctors telling us the benefits such as cleanliness are worth it, and we have religions that use it as an initiatory custom for boys and girls of varying ages. Now everybody knows these facts about circumcision and that’s because of the ‘Narrative’ out there which is a neutral, non threatening and non confrontational narrative.
What about this for a change of narrative. Little babies, in the past and often now even, without being given analgesia (because babies have not developed that many nerves to warrant anaesthetics – another narrative right ), have been strapped to a plastic plank so their legs and bodies cannot move around too much as someone – usually a western university graduate – mutilates their genitals. Its barbarism basically, AND incredibly traumatising. So traumatising that in fact recent studies have started pointing towards the fact most cases of rape, violence towards women, sado-masochistic violence towards women is perpetrated by you guessed it circumcised men – who are raging at their mother deep, deep down because mum as their main caretaker willingly let someone take them away and cut off a part of their penis. Welcome to normalised trauma. Just for interest sake, we have had reports of mens penises sometimes ‘coming out’ an extra inch or two as their body level memory of trying to suck the penis in to avoid he cut, is released, and as the body releases and relaxes once the trauma is integrated the penis gets to fully come out.
This example is just one of the many examples ‘subtle trauma’ – trauma un-acknowledged and unspoken about. Trauma that is widespread and conveniently narrated in a way that creates ‘peace and order’ in the world. Well, I do wonder how much domestic violence is also perpetrated by circumcised men – that might make society re-think about not having the hard conversations it needs to have in order to experience more ‘peace and order’. So as not to seem like I am attacking circumcision, I will put forward a few more ‘subtle level trauma’ categories.
We have Conception Trauma, in utero trauma ( 9 months of listening to mum and dad and what they say and think about us ) – I have personally regressed back to an ‘in-utero’ trauma and experienced the most profound grief over believing I was not wanted by my father. I still remember the shuddering of my body as I sobbed uncontrollably. I never had thoughts previous to that session around feeling like my father did not want me. I eventually told my mum what I experienced and she literally went white – It was to me obvious she was wanting to spare my self worth and feelings so she never shared about those moments. She went on to reveal to me that that was in fact the truth – my father did have those thoughts and feelings at times whilst mum was carrying me. My father and I have a great relationship now, especially due to healing all the varying subtle traumas I experienced growing up in my family of origin. Now I literally have a tangible love for him and have been blessed to have it so for decades now.
What else do you think could happen during the 9 months in the womb? We then have birth trauma. This is why the main technique we use is a ‘Rebirthing Style Breathwork’ – It came about through it’s ‘re-discoverer’ – Leonard Or re-experiencing most aspects of his birth trauma over many years using the technique. Hence ‘Rebirthing’ is one of the foundations of effective trauma release work. We then move into infancy trauma – helpless, hopeless, totally dependant on our care givers. Growing pains as our body starts to grow after its 9 month period squashed into a ball. The simple experience of not receiving love or food when we need it, well babies cry for a reason right? We then start to experience the specific negative experiences with mum and dad. Too much control builds up anger in us. Too little boundaries from parents makes us feel unsafe and unloved. Too little love from mum stunts the growth of our own capacity to love, too much love results in ‘smother mother syndrome’, we then start our school trauma hase – from the 1st day at school to teasing and specific teacher issues. We have our sibling issues – believe me no matter how great buddies you are with your sibling, wait till you start to open up your trauma body/ unconscious mind. I could go on. As I hope you can see, Trauma cannot be avoided. I could go on, but back to the matter at hand.
I often hear “Thats just life, get on with it” and I tend to agree. Our parents did their best, you dealt with things to the best of your abilities with the level of consciousness you had…BUT, if you are depressed, have anxiety issues, PTSD symptoms, Suicidal thoughts, addictions – from ‘substance addictions’ like drugs, all the way to ‘Process Addictions’ like working too much, if you have relationship issues with the one you love…. then the attitude of “get over it” simply does not cut it. Especially when we now have a refined system of permanently healing any level of trauma – whether Gross or Subtle. You owe it to yourself to feel good again, to be free and spontaneous as a child again, to lead a full and exciting life, to be happy basically…Your given right.
Changing this narrative is your responsibility. It starts with you, you have to do the work – no one will do it for you.
HOW TO START HEALING YOUR TRAUMA
How to start is simple. If you are someone who tells yourself you had a great childhood, have a great relationship with your parents, had no traumatic experience occur – yet you are obviously trying to deal with high
level anxiety and depression. Addictions, General mental health issues, suicidal thoughts, relationship issues, self worth issues etc Then its up to you to start the process by simply ‘tweaking’ your narrative a bit….Something like “ as great as my parents did, as good as my life has been and I have been lucky, I am in most probability oblivious to the fact that I have undealt with trauma – they call it the ‘unconscious’ for a reason. We do not even know that we do not know we have trauma. This is how good and sophisticated our defence structures are – But luckily this technique exists, which is heading to becoming the future of therapy, where a particular depth, speed and intensity of breathing will temporarily displace my defences and will let me permanently release all my subtle trauma that is showing up as a,b & c”.
No one has done anything wrong. You are not wrong for having these traumas that ‘control’ parts of your life. It does not make you weak. It does not make you stupid. You are human and simply going through life, being the sensitive soul that you are, ended up accumulating emotional trauma. Some people accumulate 100 units of painful trauma, some people accumulate 500 units, some people 2,000 units. This is why there are varying degrees/ levels of severity of depression and anxiety. Its a simple 1 plus 1 equals 2 rule. The more subtle trauma, the more severe your mental health issues are, the more sessions of Cathartic Breathwork you have.
There is no end to how good you can feel.
Oh.., the subtleties of the human psyche. Yes, I believe..I know even from my private practise over the last 25 years that gave me the privalidge of facilitating emotional trauma release of 1000’s of individuals….that most of the population who suffer from mental health issues think that they had “a great childhood, their parents loved them, and they WERE NOT TRAUMATISED”.
Yet why were these people coming to see me, why were they ‘searching for something’, why were they spending 10’s of 1,000’s of dollars with me and travelling weekly across the country for my weekly group work programs? Easy…SUBTLE TRAUMA. The not so obvious, not so easily identified range of traumas that ‘pull the rug out’ from under people’s feet and lives. The subtle traumas that actually ruin whole lives and are
Trauma happens to everybody. You, your family and are ALL traumatised!
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