CSAR

Interpersonal Neurobiology

  • The Long-Term Costs of Traumatic Stress: Intertwined Physical and Psychological Consequences
  • The gradual emergence of symptoms following exposure to traumatic events has presented a major conceptual challenge to psychiatry. The mechanism that causes the progressive escalation of symptoms with the passage of time leading to delayed onset post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) involves the process of sensitization and kindling. The development of traumatic memories at the time of stress exposure represents a major vulnerability through repeated environmental triggering of the increasing dysregulation of an individual’s neurobiology. An increasing body of evidence demonstrates how the increased allostatic load associated with PTSD is associated with a significant body of physical morbidity in the form of chronic musculoskeletal pain, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, obesity and cardiovascular disease. This increasing body of literature suggests that the effects of traumatic stress need to be considered as a major environmental challenge that places individual’s physical and psychological health equally at risk. This broader perspective has important implications for developing treatments that address the underlying dysregulation of cortical arousal and neurohormonal abnormalities following exposure to traumatic stress. ...

  • Beyond Words: A Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Perspective
  • Ogden highlights the importance of non-verbal communications. The awareness to indicators such as prosody, eye contact, facial expression, preparatory movements, arm movements, posture, proximity and locomotion can provide us with important information about the patient´s implicit self and their implicit relational knowing. She presents clinical examples to understand how this is played out in therapy and what can the therapist do to help patients be aware of their non-verbal communications. ...

  • Modern attachment theory: the enduring impact of early right-brain development
  • Dr. Schore centers his talk on the importance of the early right brain development for the future functioning and well-being of a person. He describes a shift in science that currently gives emotions and to the regulation of emotions a privileged place. The attunement and co-regulation in the relationship between the mother and the baby has a fundamental impact on the regulation of emotions. Current research shows that emotional dysregulation and problems in the right brain are present in every pathology. ...

  • Human Nature and Early Experience
  • The Polyvagal Theory provides a new perspective to explore how autonomic nervous system function relates to social behavior, emotional regulation, and health. The Polyvagal Theory links the evolution of the autonomic nervous system to affective experience, emotional expression, facial gestures, vocal communication, and contingent social behavior. The theory, by being informed by the phylogeny of the autonomic nervous system, expands our understanding of normal and atypical behavior, mental health (e.g., coping with stress and novelty), and psychiatric disorders (e.g., autism, anxiety disorders, PTSD). The theory emphasizes that the core deficit in behavioral and affective regulation that is associated with several psychiatric disorders, especially disorders diagnosed in children, is related to neural regulation of the autonomic nervous system. By incorporating a developmental perspective, the theory explains how typical and atypical maturation and regulation of autonomic function forms the neural “platform” upon which social behavior and the development of safe trusting relationships are based. The theory explains how the nervous system evaluates risk in the environment, without awareness and often independent of a cognitive narrative, through a process labeled “neuroception.” Neuroception attempts to support adaptive behaviors by matching autonomic state with the neuroceptive state of risk (i.e., safe social environment, danger, and life threat). Abuse and trauma may reset neuroception to protect the individual from others when there is no “real” danger resulting in defensive and often aggressive responses to friends and caregivers...

  • Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Early Trauma
  • The author describes how the brain reacts to trauma. She then discusses the long-term effects of trauma on a person’s neurobiology; she uses neurobiology, in turn, to inform how therapy should be conducted for those affected by trauma. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is offered as a means to help clients overcome their trauma....

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