Peak States Model and Theory
Trauma is at the root of most physical and emotional problems. So, what is trauma and how does it affect us on a daily basis?
A ‘trauma’ is a moment in time when we experienced something emotionally or physically painful, distressful or shocking. Thoughts and beliefs are created during these trauma moments that later guide our behavior inappropriately. The trauma from the past tells us how to act in the present, blocking our ability to respond according to present circumstances. A good example of this is phobia. If we are irrationally afraid of something – say air travel – then it is likely that the anxiety we feel is caused by earlier traumatic events that we associate with this activity. In this case, healing the underlying trauma would eliminate the phobia.
You can tell if a past trauma moment is guiding your behavior, thoughts and/or emotions by checking to see if you feel CPL (Calm, Peaceful and Lightness- as in not heavy) in any given situation. Whenever you are not CPL, you know that you are being driven by the past, not responding to the reality of the present. We believe that at any one moment people have at least four traumas activated making it very difficult to stay in the present moment.
One of the surprising discoveries in this field is that trauma is stored in strings or stacks of similar physical sensations. i.e. traumas are not necessarily stored in relation to similar circumstances but rather similar body sensations. Thus, a trauma string may link fear of flying – say, uncomfortable feeling in the stomach – with your first day at school – again, uncomfortable feeling in the stomach. What is even more surprising is that many trauma chains have their origins before birth. For example, the trauma chain that causes fear of flying, which is linked to your first day at school, is likely to have links to a pre birth trauma where physical injury (probably in the stomach area in this case) occurred pre-birth. We use this understanding about the nature and structure of trauma to guide clients back to the original trauma in the chain in order to heal. Once the original trauma is healed, all of the following traumas in that line are also resolved. In this way you are free to respond to present circumstances for what they are instead of being locked into reactions based on the past.
So, effective trauma healing means regressing to the first moment, possibly pre-birth, when your organism experienced the original trauma in the chain. This task seems daunting to some, who may have no experience with pre-natal regression and therefore think it impossible to accomplish. Your therapist will coach you on how to do this but the fact is that when you experience trauma in the present, you have already regressed to a past moment. So when someone triggers their fear of flying - anxiety and uncomfortable feeling in the stomach, say – they have already regressed to a previous trauma and are seeing the present through that trauma. In other words they might associate flying with uncomfortable memories of the first day at school and that time in the womb when they were damaged in the stomach area and their organism felt as though it would die. To their subconscious then, flying = death. As irrational as this sounds, that is how our consciousness operates and this explains how difficult it is for us to use conscious will to overcome anxiety or phobia. Fortunately, the latest trauma healing techniques can access and heal early trauma, quickly leading to the elimination of problems in the present.
1.0, Sept 1, 2012: First draft of this webpage.