Working with the Neurobiological Legacy: Developing Resources for a Life After Trauma
Neuroscience research has established that the animal defense survival responses that preserve life under threat do not diminish once safety is obtained. Meant to warn us of impending danger, these easily re-activated survival responses continue to re-evoke the events of long ago.
The evolution of new neurobiologically-informed treatments offers new, hopeful answers to the aftermath of trauma and neglect: the loss of hope or energy, chronic fear of danger, the longing for human connection, and self-destructive and addictive behavior.
Rather than ‘treating’ the events that resulted in this legacy, neuroscience teaches us how to treat their effects. When trauma symptoms are “decoded” in this way, they become comprehensible and treatable. They have a neurobiological logic that reassures survivors of trauma that they are not inadequate and that the effects of their traumatic experience can be transformed.