The Impact of Healing Complex Trauma

Tamara Low

- Accredited EFT
- Pranic Healer -Author

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Trauma impacts each and every one of us to varying degrees. Trauma can be described as feeling endangered,- a threat to your life – or life-force, wellbeing or sanity. The situation is essentially out of our control and we may well feel helpless, affecting or interfering with intricate physiological processes in our brain and body designed to diligently keep us safe, identify potential threats, and to prevent further trauma. ‘Complex’ and ‘Developmental Trauma’ are the types of trauma that I would like to touch on today- looking at the ways in which healing from them can deeply impact our lives.

‘Complex Trauma’ is repetitive trauma -and often begins early in life disrupting much of a child’s physical, cognitive, behavioural and emotional development; indeed- the very formation of the ‘self’. It can also seriously interfere with a child’s ability to develop a secure attachment- bond with a parent or caregiver. Moreover, ‘Developmental trauma’ can happen in- utero or after birth- occurring during the physical, neurological, and emotional- growth processes. It commonly stems from insecure attachment with a parent or caregiver.

Unhealed Trauma Impacts us in Various Ways:

Unhealed trauma can affect and impact us physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically and energetically, in numerous ways this includes our connection with ourselves and others, how we feel day- to -day, moment- to- moment, also impacting our sense of safety and our outlook and perspective on life. 

Due to the fact that we were so young when the trauma(s) took place, it can be very difficult, if not, impossible to remember it. It is also very difficult to identify the physical and emotional reasons why we might feel the way we do, including the mysterious difficulties or circumstances that we experience, as well as the blocks and the repetition of harmful or unhealthy unconscious patterns or behaviours.

When the trauma and its resultant fear- response is at the forefront of our lives, our physiology- which is making decisions for us, is affected. We might be hypervigilant, on high alert, and our ability to “see” clearly can be greatly hindered. In addition, we might notice feeling unsafe, untrusting, feeling unsettled, anxious, or tense. Also, we may experience emotional and physical pain, and feel a variety of things: for instance -impatience, anger, irritation, frustration. We may also feel pessimistic, scattered-having a difficulty in concentration and focusing: even a feeling of being disconnected- or frozen. There can also be a numbing of emotions, low- energy, a feeling of resignation, self- criticism and we may also notice ourselves being judgemental to the self and/or others; emotionally cutting off- or withdrawing from others, confusion, shame, fear, depression, and suffering with insomnia.

If we were not able to develop a “self” as a child and, therefore, probably no becoming grounded in ourselves, it becomes a lot easier to go off- course and be drawn into unhealthy, toxic situations, negativity, pessimism, feeling helpless (-it being hard to imagine a healthy future) and powerless. It might feel “normal”, and familiar- as it might be what we know. In fact, it is not our “normal” state of being to feel this way- but it, rather, shows us that something is out- of- balance and needs our care and attention. In our natural state of being, we feel safe and alive in our bodies- which can engender natural positive, optimistic and joy-filled states, where we are able to live our deepest and truest lives! Life may indeed bring us challenges and difficulties, but now- , in our natural state, we are better able to meet-with and handle them.

Healing Our Energy System 

Pranic Healing 

‘Complex’ and/or ‘Developmental trauma’ can also be seen in our energy body. Through a chakra -scan, we can observe its presence in the congestion or depletion in the solar plexus, adrenal glands and in the brain- specifically the amygdala, vagus nerve, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and thalamus. Physiological -activity in these areas sends messages to and impacts the rest of the body, resulting in symptoms such as digestive -issues, menstrual -problems, back pain, neck pain and so on. As a result, we might receive certain “labels” such as ADHD, depression, anxiety- disorders, etc.

Pranic Healing can assist us in healing and clearing the trauma/trauma energy/trauma- response throughout the chakras- impacting our physiology, nervous system, emotions, and the mind.

Emotional Freedom Techniques 

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or “Tapping”) is a somatic (body) release technique which has been shown to decrease amygdala- activation, which can reduce the stress -response, slowing down heart -rate and respiration- moving away from sympathetic- activation towards the optimal arousal zone/regulation. Trauma tends to dysregulate the brain and EFT helps to re-regulate the brain and re-establish full cognitive resources. 

When our nervous system and brain comes back into balance, our unconscious mind becomes more freed- up to assist us with deep- level understanding, for example, offering us memories, ideas and insights which help to heal the energetic, physical, mental, emotional block(s), so that we can reclaim the parts of us that the trauma altered or derailed.

Indeed, ‘Pranic Healing’ and ‘Emotional Freedom Techniques’ can work so beautifully in tandem with one another to address complex trauma.  

Re-Connecting with Ourselves and Others

When we are able to look at, identify, safely process and heal the original trauma, the more our nervous systems/bodies, physiology, mind and emotions are able to relax and feel safe and secure. This changes how we feel in our bodies, about ourselves, and how we feel in the world- altering our outlook and perceptions and enabling us to become more resilient and better equipped to handle life’s many challenges and twists and turns.

We can feel more freed -up to connect with others more deeply and in meaningful and positive ways- including looking for solutions and cooperating with others for the common good. We may begin to develop or remember the parts of ourselves that need our love, compassion, care, and understanding and indeed give these to ourselves. 

End Summary 

A lifetime can be affected by the events that happen during childhood. What happened to us, what we experienced, and what we “took in” on a deep level about ourselves and the world- and our safety, is what we experienced and NOT who we ARE at our core, although it may feel that way.

Healing trauma is a sacred process. When we begin to heal the layers of the trauma and the impact on our nervous- system, energy- system, self- esteem and sense of safety in the world, we may then naturally become acquainted with our TRUE selves and begin to feel peaceful, more at ease, calm, positive, hopeful and grateful in our being(s) and in the world, and that, to me, s a beautiful thing!

Warmly, 

Tamara

Please see the contact page if you would like to let me know what you thought about this article, or if you are interested in receiving Empathic Heart Healing’s articles/blogs/newsletters or joining the facebook page. Thank you.

References:

The definitions of Trauma and Complex and Developmental Trauma were adapted from

“Tapping Out of Trauma 1.0”- by Craig Weiner DC and Suzanne Fageol CC

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Internal Exploration Questions
General

These questions are just for you to ponder. You can fill it out and save it for your interest if you like. They can help us to get to the root of what is keeping us from TRUE us and our most authentic expression (which can often get buried for many reasons).

Click one of the buttons below and download your fillable PDF to your desktop. You can then fill in the form on your desktop and save it or print it out. If you experience any issues while filling in your form download Abode Acrobat Reader. It is a free software to help you properly use fillable PDF forms.

Internal Exploration Questions
Codependency

These questions are just for you to ponder. You can fill it out and save it for your interest if you like. They can help us to get to the root of what is keeping us from TRUE us and our most authentic expression (which can often get buried for many reasons).

Click the button below and download your fillable PDF to your desktop. You can then fill in the form on your desktop and save it or print it out. If you experience any issues while filling in your form, download Abode Acrobat Reader. It is a free software to help you properly use fillable PDF forms.

Price List

 

*All prices are in Canadian dollars

Codependent Free

A brief summary of Codependency (more in “Education")

Codependency is created by our attachment trauma. During the first 3 years of life, we need to feel safe and secure with our parents or caregivers. Arielle Swartz says, “this allows us to develop a healthy sense of self that forms the foundation for our ability to develop meaningful, healthy relationships with others.” If we experience fear, unpredictability, uncertainty, neglect, rage, indifference, abuse, emotional unavailability, etc., the natural attachment process is disrupted, causing trauma, resulting in deep and lasting challenges for those that have experienced it (until it’s dealt with).

Jason Breyer describes Codependency as “a psychological and behavioural condition based on faulty programming and emotional wounds, which affects someone’s capacity to have healthy, mutually satisfying relationships.” Stacy Hoch describes Codependency as an image disorder built on the idea and belief that you should be more concerned with what others think of you than what you think of you, the idea that I do not exist without others’ validation and trying to fill inner voids vicariously by filling others. She says, for others’ sake, the Codependent harms themselves and Narcissist for the sake of themselves harm other people. If left unchecked, the pattern of Codependency may be passed from one generation to the next. See “What is Codependency?”, and “Healing and Understanding Codependency.”

Codependency Programming (but not limited to):

Codependency programming ensures that our identity, love, validation, approval, peace, and sense of safety is solely reliant on others. We falsely believe that other people and situations are responsible for our happiness or lack thereof. We completely abandon ourselves and our wounded and deeply afraid inner child(ren) for the sake of others. This can feel like an emotional, psychological, and physical prison that may come to feel like this is how things will always be, that it’s somehow our fate. In summary, its:  

-An external dependency on others for acceptance, validation, approval, and to feel good about ourselves. 

-Not having your own solid identity, becoming void of ourselves for the sake of someone else.

How it may show itself- coping mechanisms

-We seek permission from others. 

-Our self-esteem is validated by what we do and by others’ opinions of us. 

-We can struggle to meet our own needs. 

-Asserting oneself is almost impossible.

-We create behaviours that assist in denying, ignoring or preventing difficult emotions. 

-Can be very self-destructive and self-sabotaging as being self-abusive is what we were taught. 

-Codependents often isolate themselves- deep core shame and loneliness is at the heart of this.

Healing

There are many wonderful ways, tools, techniques, books, online videos, classes, therapies, therapists, modalities, support groups, etc. available to assist us in learning and understanding Codependency and to help heal its deep and many layers! The energetic hold of Codependency programming is strong. To heal, attachment trauma needs to be addressed and inner child work (I encourage you to seek out those that specialize in these areas for support) and identify deep unconscious programming, beliefs, behaviours, and thoughts. I believe that this is the level that Energy Psychology (Emotional Freedom Techniques) really shines! I am extremely passionate about assisting others in addressing the deep energetic layers of Codependency.

If you are interested, please click on the link for “Codependent Thoughts and Beliefs to Tap On” (Emotional Freedom Techniques can also be referred to as “Tapping”). 

If  you are interested in more about Narcissism and Narcissistic Abuse, see “What is Narcissism?, “How to Understand and Identify Narcissistic Abuse,” and “Healing from Narcissistic Abuse.

**My writing is geared towards Empaths and Highly Sensitive People, but it is ultimately for anyone desiring to learn, grow, heal and explore.

References:

  • BREYER, JASON. Empath – A Highly Sensitive Person – Develop your gift, use emotional intelligence to turn your high sensitivity into a superpower: Overcome negative mindsets and master your social skills . Kindle Edition.
  • Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT, Ross. The Human Magnet Syndrome: The Codependent Narcissist Trap . Morgan James Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  • Schwartz, Arielle Dr. Complex PTSD and Attachment Trauma (article). Oct 2019. 

Areas of Interest, Services and Goals

Areas of Interest and Services:

As an Empath, Highly Sensitive Person, you have a unique soul’s purpose and a unique perspective. You are ‘wired’ differently and are not meant to ‘fit in” to the status quo. It can be very challenging to see/view and feel things differently than most people- but we are not meant to; we are meant to see and feel them from OUR perspective.

It is so important to accept our highly sensitive, empathic nature, heal our hearts and wounding, learn to love, accept who we are at our core, and find and live our unique soul’s purpose, joy, and spark, passion!

You have a huge loving heart and a large capacity to love and care for others, animals, and the planet. LOVE is who we are; it’s our natural state of being! The world needs (more than ever) our gifts, passion, and heart!

I desire to work with self-aware Empaths and HSP’s who are passionate about learning and growing and deeply desire to explore, excavate, and heal their inner worlds, heart places that need healing, care, support, and attention. I hold a safe, non-judgemental space for you, deep presence, and deep intuitive listening. I bring love, warmth, and care to everything that I do. I use:

Emotional Freedom Techniques is a gentle cognitive, somatic (body) and energetic approach to healing. It assists us in looking at the deep unconscious programming, beliefs, behaviours, and thoughts that impact our behaviour or create imbalance. EFT works with the meridian system to shift energetic blocks or disruptions, returning the body’s energy system to balance- helping us to regulate our nervous system.

Pranic Psychotherapy is Pranic Healing applied in energetically addressing, balancing, and preventing psychological ailments, where stress is the root. This is where I like to focus. Pranic Healing works with the chakra system and auric layers.

EFT and Pranic Healing work exceptionally well together!

I am passionate about supporting Empaths and Highly Sensitive People in healing and nurturing their hearts, discovering and living their true heart’s desires, and embodying their unique gifts! More specifically, my focus is on assisting you in uncovering and:

  • healing and processing the emotional pain from heartbreak, heartache (grief, loss, sorrow, sadness).
  • processing eco/environmental sorrow – our feelings around ALL that is happening with/to our planet and all of her inhabitants.
  • clear the blocks to healthy self-love, care and regard (e.g., feelings of unworthiness, e.g., don’t feel worthy of healthy love). 
  • dismantling old limiting patterns and belief systems that keep us stuck, hidden, and in pain.
  • healing the grip and pull of toxic relationship patterns, feelings, and beliefs such as codependency. Codependency profoundly impacts, impedes, affects us, and holds us back in many ways, e.g., keeping us small, hidden, and invisible. For more information, see Codependent-Beliefs-To-Tap-On for an example of such belief systems and what we can do about it.
  • recovering and healing from narcissistic abuse, being manipulated and taken advantage of.
  • celebrating and accepting being an Empath, a Highly Sensitive Person in this world.  Also:
  • to uncover, recover, rediscover, and reconnect with your joy spark, play, unique gifts, purpose, passion, and calling.
  • nurturing our playful heart, our innate play and joy, to find play in purpose.
  • regulating our nervous system.

BIG Whole Hearts unite!

Tamara

Under “About,” see “Internal Exploration Questions- General” and “Internal Exploration Questions -Codependency.”

Goals

Heart healing, heart balancing, heart wholeness.

Developing and cultivating kindness, gentleness, love, and compassion towards ourselves.

Coming to an accepting, peaceful place around our difficult feelings and emotions, e.g., sorrow, sadness, suffering, isolation, heaviness, loneliness, fear.

Clear harmful energies and residue from past relationships.

Healing the patterns that keep us attracting painful relationships.

Feeling worthy of the types of relationships that we desire and authentic connection with someone who also lives from the heart, is kind, can express their feelings, and you can express yours safely. Both people take responsibility for their actions, no games, you deeply care about each other’s happiness and wellbeing.

Healing our faulty internalized beliefs about how we view love and discovering what it truly is/looks like, for us, learning what healthy love is and being open to and attracting (kind, gentle) healthy love in our lives.

Making self-loving decisions about who we let into our hearts and lives.

Learning to trust ourselves and make kind, loving, safe choices about who we allow into our lives and hearts.

Relationship(s) in your life that nurture you, that are safe, gentle, loving, nurturing and kind.

 The freedom to live and love wholeheartedly.

Thriving after heartbreak, heartache, rejection, loss, abuse, betrayal, narcissistic abuse.

Reclaiming and rediscovering ourselves/who we TRULY are and our true passion and purpose in the process.

To have fun, be joyful, playful, free and to live our hearts desires.

A regulated nervous system, inner peace.

Transforming pain and suffering.

Welcome to Empathic Heart Healing

Empaths and Highly Sensitive People (HSP’s) have unique ways of experiencing, feeling, sensing, observing, perceiving, processing, and absorbing the world. They feel things deeply; including love, beauty and joy, pain, hurt, and sorrow.

Emotional pain or struggle is a block or disruption in our body’s energy system and can stem from countless places, unique to you and your situation. My passion is to assist Empaths and HSP’s in understanding, accessing and releasing the root cause (feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions) of the energy block(s) or disturbances. Codependency is just one manifestation of emotional pain, an example of how our TRUE selves can get buried, hidden (at the beginning of our lives), and stay this way until it is safe to re-emerge.

Other avenues might be narcissistic abuse, heartache/heartbreak, infertility, low self-esteem, rejection (initially from others- and then towards ourselves), neglect, and you can insert your experience(s) here. When we are in emotional pain, there are corresponding feelings such as shame, sadness, grief, guilt, fear, loneliness, anger, isolation, and despair, to name a few. Our body gives us clues through feelings and sensations about what is happening within us and how we feel around others and in certain environments.

Emotional Freedom Techniques, also called EFT, or “Tapping” can assist us in identifying, releasing, clearing, and healing the energetic and emotional blocks, beliefs, fears, and barriers that limit us and keep us stuck, small, and hidden, so that we can access and get re-in touch with our deepest, fullest, truest and most authentic expression- as well as deep inner peace, vibrant health, light-heartedness, joy, play, passion, bliss and vitality.

Every one of us has a unique energy/energy vibration, traits, purpose(s), gifts, talents, abilities, etc. to offer, to offer others, and contribute to the world. We all have unique goals, dreams and desires.  Blocks in our energy system can derail or make difficult, any one of these. My deepest and truest desires for EVERYONE is to live and express themselves in the deepest, truest, freest, and most authentic way possible!!

When we are young, we learn by watching, observing, and adapting to our surroundings. We are often told by our parent(s), caregivers, society, etc. who they think we are, who they think we should be, and who they want us to be, do, say, or act like. As we get older, these adaptations and beliefs can become a hindrance. We can be controlled by a belief that was learned and taught, which does not even have its origins in who we are, and how we desire to live.

As an example, I recently explored an old, worn-out belief of mine with an EFT colleague. That is, “I am only worthy, only if I am productive, and that “play” is a waste of time.” Yikes! This is a belief that I learned and took on as “truth” very early on- a learned family pattern. It was impacting me in numerous ways (which were not in line with TRUE me). This is certainly not a belief that I want to pass on to my son! I LOVE the magic and power of EFT! and Pranic Healing!! My goal is to provide a safe, compassionate, secure, and non-judgemental space for you to peel back the layers of what no longer serves you and holds you back from TRUE you….

This quote from Judith Orloff, the author of “The Empath’s Survival Guide” sums this up perfectly and resonates with me deeply:

“I’ve seen how empaths are often “chosen” to break the generational patterns of negativity in their families. They don’t necessarily volunteer for this role on a conscious level, but it’s nonetheless their destiny to fulfil it. When empaths heal themselves and say “yes” to honouring their sensitivities, they are saying “NO” to patterns of abuse, neglect, and addiction that have been repeated in their relatives. The intergenerational transmission of pain stops with them. Through their recovery and the acceptance of their gifts, empaths are the ones who can repair the greater familial whole. Mindful, conscious people are the most effective agents of change.”

Warmly,

Tamara

If you are familiar with EFT or would like to explore more about EFT, and how it can be used for Codependency, please email me, and I will send you a copy of “Codependent Beliefs, Thoughts, Feelings, and Emotions to Tap on.”

References:

  • Orloff, Judith. The Empath’s Survival Guide (pp. 207-208). Sounds True. Kindle Edition.