What Is Preverbal Trauma And How Can It Be Treated?
Preverbal trauma might be difficult to identify, yet critical. Did you know that the very first memories we have occur before we are able to communicate about them or preserve them as images in our minds?
Did you know that the very first memories we have occur before we are able to communicate about them or preserve them as images in our minds?
Our bodies are the ones that keep the memories. These first memories, or for some of us, the traumatic experiences they represent, are stored deep within us as sensations and/or patterns of muscle activity.
In light of this, our preverbal experiences may serve as the foundation for developing problematic patterns of behavior in our first relationships.
It should come as no surprise that the connections we have impacted the way we interact with other people over the course of our lives.
Preverbal trauma occurs before speech and language development in early childhood. Identifying trauma is consequently difficult. Some of the worst PTSD symptoms can come from a time when you don't remember what happened. This includes childhood medical difficulties, abuse, and neglect.
Preverbal trauma shapes childhood interactions. Early trauma causes disorganized memory storage. You may experience pain and discomfort without understanding the source.
Trauma can alter brain architecture, causing a block or memory lossof traumatic events. Preverbal trauma produces PTSD without a clear word or recollection. Instead, people may have distressing pictures or sensations.
Your body informs you. Preverbal trauma weighs you down. Trauma seems to have planned out your lifeand relationships before you could object. You're damaged and plagued by a past you can hardly recall or voice.
You may feel it intensely, though. Physical strain and pain are examples. Or stress and worry. How can you find healing from such fragmented, confusing trauma? To treat trauma, tap into its physiological experiences.
Therapists, researchers, and authors think we need to use the hidden memory system to find out how our bodies remember connections with early caregivers.
These relationships certainly caused preverbal distress. The limbic brain system fuels early body memories. This system controls life-sustaining physiological activities.
From infancy to age 3, the limbic brain controls interaction and application. Body-oriented images of your caregiver connections aren't surprising.
Mothers have lives, feelings, and suffering and can't shield their children from all of life's slings and arrows. Many people grow up with preverbal trauma symptoms because not every mother knows how her stress affects her children. Effective treatments include the following:
EMDR(eye movement desensitization and reprocessing): This exposure therapydesensitizes negative life experiences and psychological trauma. The person begins by naming and desensitizing the worst elements of the incident.
Brainspotting:This treatment recognizes that trauma activates the body and a specific area of the brain. A therapist monitors bodily reactions and visual fields to identify trauma-related brain areas.
Somatic Experiencing Therapy:This therapy allows people to relive the trauma in small doses and identify where guilt, fear, and recurring ideas are lodged. This helps people "unstick" physically and mentally.
A man oshouting at his son while his son faced the other side and cover his ears
Memories of preverbal and nonverbal trauma often lack language and narrative structure. On the other hand, they can show up as fleeting images or sounds, bits of information that don't make sense, or unsettling body sensations that make no sense.
Doctor and trauma expert Bessel Van Der Kolk says it best: "All trauma is preverbal." When we go through a traumatic event, our brains immediately send signals to the amygdala, which is a pair of almond-shaped structures deep in the brain's limbic system. These signals bypass the more complex, higher-order areas of the brain that are in charge of language and reasoning.
C-PTSD can be treated well using methods like Somatic Therapy and EMDR Therapy. Sometimes words get in the way of experiencing the body. Therefore, developing a tolerance for somatic awareness is crucial for connecting to sensations.
These "Brain Body Based" therapies, along with others, are effective for preverbal trauma because they target the nervous system, which includes the brain and the rest of the body. The human mind operates in the prefrontal cortex. The areas responsible for executive functioning are located there.
However, the goal of treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and pre-verbal trauma is to communicate with the reptile brain. There, the survival mechanism known as the "fight or flight" reaction is dysfunctional. When traditional talk therapy isn't enough to help a person get over their trauma, these trauma therapies can help.