Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Theo Fleury and Kim Barthel

I listened to Kim Barthel and Theo Fleury discuss Trauma, Healing and the Brain. Together they wrote a book Conversations with a Rattle Snake. Here is some of what I learned:

  • There is always a reason for the behaviour.
  • If a care giver is preoccupied or unavailable then a child will feel rejection, abandonment and feeling not good enough which for a child is trauma.
  • In 2009, Theo Fleury wrote a book called Playing with Fire.
  • The fear of vulnerability holds us all back from living a whole life.
  • Trauma comes in many different shapes and sizes and it doesn't have to be just physical.
  • One of the most dangerous things for the brain is cortisol. Cortisol is our brain's pharmacy for stress. When we feel rejected, abandoned and not feeling good enough our brain is having a bath in cortisol.
  • Your brain can change until you stop breathing.
  • Trauma can harm the right side of the brain which can 
  • A care givers body language and facial expressions have huge impact on children's well-being. 
  • It is not necessarily helpful to retell the story of trauma. It's how we tell the story that matters in a relentlessly positive frame.
  • How parents interact with each other has a profound affect on children.
  • Trauma creates trauma. Hurt people, hurt people.
  • People who experience trauma often feel forced to pay attention to potential danger at the cost of mindfulness.
  • People who experience trauma sometimes cope by not being present and disassociating. It can be a safety mechanism to avoid further trauma.
  • Mindfulness teaches us to recognize our triggers for feeling not good enough, abandoned or rejected. The anecdote to these feelings is vulnerability and being aware of the here and now.
  • Our brains like balance to find our zone of comfort. Trauma changes our sense of balance so we engage in coping strategies to create a sense of balance.
  • People who struggle with regulating their brain chemistry self-medicate to regulate their brain chemistry. When mothers abuse substances, babies are born with brains that struggle to regulate their brain chemistry (dopamine).
  • Connection begets connection. Vulnerability is a two-way street between a mentor and mentee, parent and child, teacher and student.
  • Conversations with a Rattle Snake was almost called You're not a therapist, I'm not a patient, now let's just have a conversation. 
  • Sometimes when we don't feel good enough, it is sometimes a sign that we are not being authentic enough. People who are the most authentic are the most vulnerable and they might be the ones who feel good enough.
  • Childhood experiences and trauma can lead us to feel abandoned, rejected, unloved and to feel not good enough.

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