The treatment of psychological trauma is revolutionizing our understanding of the brain, with profound implications for how we approach mental health issues in general.
We are seeing the ways that trauma effects the brain, its development and functioning. The brain gets stuck in the past and loses the flexibility it needs for the person to meet life’s challenges.
While the form of trauma most often studied is PTSD experienced by war veterans, research and treatment are showing that childhood emotional trauma from instability, abuse and neglect can have even more devastating effects. The growing child literally becomes trapped in the past.
Sometimes the effects of trauma don’t show up for years, but they will always take their toll. Symptoms are often varied and difficult to categorize, and the medical system has been slow to respond to the needs of this population.
A new model of mental health treatment is emerging using modalities that have proven more effective than psychotherapy and medication. Neurofeedback is taking its place as an important component of this new approach to trauma.