What are Body Memories? Kati Morton discusses PTSD, Assault, choking, being attacked & Body Memories

Body memories are something that has been a topic of discussion within the psychological community for awhile. Some argue that they don’t exist and it’s just the PTSD or trauma response. Others argue that it does in fact exist because they have seen in with their clients. Since so many of you have told me that you experience them, and I have seen it in my own office, I believe that body memories do exist. I believe that our bodies are capable of storing memories at the cellular level, and those body memories can make us feel like we are right back in that scary/traumatic experience. If you think you are struggling with these, here are some treatment options that may help!

1. EMDR can be really helpful for those who have experienced a trauma, although in order for this to be effective we have to be able to stay present (or what they call the “resilient zone”) I have a video on EMDR here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhaWIVK6ERI&list=PL_loxoCVsWqw5Amf6r9TozJbB__N2dpPV

2. CBT can also be helpful! There is even a particular type that some practitioners do that is CBT for trauma. Otherwise known as Trauma Based CBT. I have a video on CBT here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7B3n9jobus&list=PL_loxoCVsWqw5Amf6r9TozJbB__N2dpPV

3. Talk therapy! This means we are talking out our trauma in detail so that we give our brain and body time to process what it went through and finally overcome it!

4. DBT. I think this works particularly well because of the mindful techniques and awareness it draws to our body and what we feel in our body. That way we can sense it coming on and stop it before it becomes too overwhelming. I have a video on DBT here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDJi86n9-Rk&list=PL_loxoCVsWqw5Amf6r9TozJbB__N2dpPV

5. Exercise! I know this may sound ridiculous, but many people with body memories find moving around and pushing against walls or running can give our body that sort of flight feeling it may have. Also, some find yoga or meditation to help as well if we are more of the freeze type.

6. Lastly, there is a treatment called Somatic Experiencing (SE) that was created by Peter Levine in 1997. This is all based on his research of animals and what they do after a stressful or live threatening experience. They let out big snorts, kick up the ground, and maybe even shake all over. These are ways that the animals get their nervous system back in balance, and he has hypothesized that some similar actions could help us humans overcome our traumatic responses and bring our nervous system back to baseline.

I hope you found this helpful! Please share and “like” this video. You never know who you may help by doing so! xox

Here are some of the blogs/stories I was talking about in support of body memories: https://www.psychotherapy.net/article/healing-trauma-somatic

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