I am enjoying watching a NICABM series at the moment focused on Treating Trauma. This week I wanted to blog about one of the ways research shows we can treat the effects of trauma and attachment difficulties, the use of rhythm and interaction.
Bessel van der Kolk speaks passionately about the role of psychotherapy as being to help clients to tolerate what they are feeling. The work of healing is in helping people to regulate their nervous systems and to contain what it is that is happening, right here, right now. With work we assist people to learn which stimuli are relevant and important, and what can in the here and now be safely ignored. We help them to fully engage with the present, and to make sense of it.
I was interested to hear Bessel talk about the benefit of rhythm and interaction in this process. He reflected on the benefit of being part of something, of needing to respond back and forth, and of being in tune with others as a way of providing social engagement and resonance that can help us heal and hold our experience.
Suggestions offered of activities, along with psychotherapy, that help this were things like martial arts, boxing and playing in a band. I add to that singing in a choir and dancing as similar activities of rhythm and interaction, and I am sure there are many more.
Which activities in your life give you a sense of both rhythm, and interaction with other people? I’d love your input, because the more options we have, the more we can find things that fit for each individual to accelerate healing.