Witnessing the Body's Response to Trauma: Resistance, Ritual, and Nervous System Activation

This essay describes the body's states of nervous system activation after trauma-focusing on intimate partner violence and sexual assault against women-as signs of resistance and posits that caregivers should attend to these phenomena as the body's way of communicating. Trauma triggers ner...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Pastoral psychology
Main Author: Helsel, Philip Browning
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Springer Science Business Media B. V. [2015]
In: Pastoral psychology
Year: 2015, Volume: 64, Issue: 5, Pages: 681-693
RelBib Classification:NCF Sexual ethics
RC Liturgy
RG Pastoral care
ZD Psychology
Further subjects:B Caregivers
B Nervous System
B sexual assault
B Memory
B Ritual
B Babette rothschild
B Trauma
B Witnesses
B Neurophysiology
B PTSD
B Peter levine
B Intimate Partner Violence
B Womanist Theology
B Symptoms
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Summary:This essay describes the body's states of nervous system activation after trauma-focusing on intimate partner violence and sexual assault against women-as signs of resistance and posits that caregivers should attend to these phenomena as the body's way of communicating. Trauma triggers nervous system responses. and understanding these responses helps caregivers to read the body language of survivors and thus avoid retraumatizing them in pastoral care. Fundamentally, rather than being seen as symptomatic of a disorder, the aftereffects of trauma should be seen as a survivor's witness to the profound harm experienced as well as to the image of God in the survivor. This approach offers ritual and social ways of addressing this harm.
ISSN:1573-6679
Contains:Enthalten in: Pastoral psychology
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/s11089-014-0628-y