Trauma identitynbfs2011

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  • How many of you studied the brain? How many of you have a theory about how the brain contributes to the mind and to “illnesses of the mind?” Or as we might think of it a contribution to Freud’s Project for a Scientific Psychology? For me, the brain was an inference. And then I discovered my own. My story
  • Trauma identitynbfs2011

    1. 1. TRAUMA IDENTITY:NEUROFEEDBACK and the SELF in DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA Sebern Fisher, M.A., BCN Northeast Regional Biofeedback Society New York 2011
    2. 2. DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA• Neglect• Abuse: emotional; harsh discipline; domestic turmoil• Assault: sexual; physical; sadistic• Primary insecurity – Parental absence – Food; malnutrition – Home/shelter – Domestic conflict, threats – Drugs• Major impact on the developing brain and nervous system• Major societal impact: 9 million children a year; 104 billion $ copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    3. 3. Neurodevelopmental Consequences• Impaired brain development – Decreased functional IQ – Doubled learning disabilities – Impaired emotional regulation and impulse control• Disregulated stress response systems – Disregulation of HHPA :( hypothalamus; hippocampus; pituitary; adrenal) i.e. the cortisol stress response – Increased sympathetic nervous system activation – Increased immune system abnormalities• Alterations in physical growth – Doubled risk for obesity copyright Sebern Fisher 2011 OhioCanDo4Kids.Org
    4. 4. Controls (n=16): Positive CorrelationPTSD (n=18): Positive Correlation Bluhm et al. J of Psychiatry & Neuroscience, 2009
    5. 5. Neuroimaging in PTSD Rauch, van der Kolk et al, 1996
    6. 6. Breakdown in cortical timing in PTSD ERP sources CONTROLS PTSD Values based on comparisons of relative rCBF with subject average gCBF normalised to 50mL/100g/minClark, Egan, McFarlane, Morris, Weber, Clark,McFarlane,Morris,Weber,Sonkkilla, Marcina, Tochon-Danguy. (2000) Sonkkilla, Marcina, Egan (inHuman Brain Mapping. 9(1): 42-54 submission)
    7. 7. Overview-Aftermath of Early Life Trauma Emotional Awareness Affect Dysregulation Sense of SelfBehaviours Social Interactions Choices
    8. 8. Attachment, Fear and Self-Organization• Unrepaired attachment disruption is at the core of most serious psychopathology• Unrepaired attachment disruption and/or trauma leaves the disorganized infant in a state of baseline survival fear• When fear and its amygdaloid neighbors, shame and rage, rule we see psychopathology• The greatest of these is fear• These are the drivers in DTD (Developmental Trauma Disorder)
    9. 9. Arousal and Affect• Developmental trauma leads, overwhelmingly, to high arousal in the brain• Affectively, over arousal correlates with “limbic” emotions: Fear, shame and/or anger/rage• These primary, sub-cortical and predominantly right hemisphere affects are very hard to reach with words• The inherent limit of talk therapies
    10. 10. Unrelentingly MuggedChronic, baseline, ambient fear makes self- reflection and a coherent sense of self nearly impossibleThis level of fear makes affect regulation and learning very challengingThe success of therapy ( and life) depends on affect regulation
    11. 11. Quieting FearBy addressing frequencies that give riseto over arousal, neurofeedback helps toquiet fear. With DTD this is our primarygoal.
    12. 12. Thesis• Neurons fire• Arousal (brain)• Affect (mind)• State (weather)• Justifying narrative (“syntonic”)• Trait (climate)• Personality- This is just who I am• Identity- Identification with all this copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    13. 13. Fear-based Traits• High arousal as a base line• Chronic vagally mediated illnesses – IBS; diarrhea; constipation – Stomach pain; heart burn; reflux; hiccups• High levels of emotional reactivity• Poor affect regulation• Seen in DTD, RAD, PTSD, BPD and APD• Traits are inherent to Axis II diagnosis copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    14. 14. Axis II Fear• BPD and APD arise from neglect and/or abuse (both once DTD)• Lacking self, people identify with powerful sub-cortical affects.• They are their feelings• They have fear and shame based identities• Axis II- Disorders of high sub-cortical arousal copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    15. 15. Trauma Identity• Fear-based• Shame-based• Anger is there somewhere• Self-describe as depressed- over aroused• Rage-driven –both BPD and APD• No sense of self, separate from affects• No self; no“other” copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    16. 16. Trauma Identity, 2• Dissociative• Self harming• Self loathing• Almost completely incapable of regulating affect which reinforces their sense of themselves as mentally ill• Trauma narrative reinforces negative feedback loop copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    17. 17. Trauma Identity, 3• Sense of self is highly unstable• Cannot trust their own minds• Cannot perceive the other• Lack a theory of mind• Often do not trust the motivations of the other• Limited understanding and access to what drives them• Profoundly motherless copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    18. 18. Motherlessness• The extent to which one can regulate their affective states correlates highly with how well their mother could regulate hers (his) own in one’s early childhood• Good-enough mothering= good enough affect regulation• The more motherless, the more fear copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    19. 19. The NF Healing Paradox• Your goal is to reduce fear• When you reduce fear, you challenge fear- based identity• Many will cling to fear as if it were life itself. It is. It is who they are• Fear has also been the primary validation of a traumatic past copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    20. 20. The Healing Crisis• There is no other path: we must reduce fear• We also must reduce fear of no fear/no self• 1. Recognize the dilemma• 2. Help them recognize the dilemma• 3. Prepare them for it – Neurofeedback – Therapy – Meditation – Breathing – Tapes, relaxation exercises• There will be many rounds- both the brain and the mind gravitate toward the familiar copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    21. 21. Brief thoughts on:• Dissociation• Flashbacks• Symptoms as attempts to regulate copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    22. 22. Recovery or Birth of the Self• Neurons fire : regulated and quieted sub cortically• Arousal : Lowered and regulated• Affect : Full range of affective states available; calm prevails• State : Flexible, calm, often happy, even peaceful• Narrative: As it arises and seen for what it is• Trait : Begin to give way• Personality: Reorganizing sense of self; pro-social• Identity: No fear means a new identity copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    23. 23. Transition Indicators• Noticeable reduction in fear• Pt begins to use language of arousal and regulation instead of trauma or pathology narrative• They emerge in erratic steps for the timeless, dark hollows of the fear driven brain• Disappointment• Trauma because biography “It’s not relevant anymore” copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    24. 24. Consider the Cerebellum• Teicher and Anderson: Limbic instability• The vermis and abuse• The need for holding/rocking to organize the brain – Harlow and Heath – Training at the back of the brain The cerebellum always shows up in scans of DTD (Lanius and van der Kolk) copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    25. 25. Therapy• All therapy is about regulation• If you disregulate either with NF or inquiry, recalibrate• Abreaction reinforces fear circuits• Avoid cathartic or exposure therapies• Lack of progress is not resistance• Dual track listening-the brain and the brain’s owner copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    26. 26. Summary• The primacy of fear• Fear-based or “trauma identity”• Training goal is fear reduction• Find the protocol(s) that accomplish this• Success creates therapeutic crisis• Anticipate this-fear of loss of self and loss of you• Befriend the emerging identity copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    27. 27. Thank you! Sebern F. Fisher, M.A., BCN 34 Elizabeth StreetNorthampton, Massachusetts 01060 sebern.fisher@verizon.net sebern@aol.com copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    28. 28. Placements: Triangulate the Amygdala• Temporal lobe focus:• Initially, T4-P4 or T3-T4 (Othmer)• T4-F8, T4-FZ• Cingulate focus:• FZ-A2 and or PZ-A2• FZ-PZ• Prefrontal focus:• FPO2 (Fisher) copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    29. 29. Rewards and Inhibits• 10.5-13.5, up or down as needed, guided by person’s response• Usually lower, to 0-3 or beneath 1 HZ• The temporal lobe/slow-wave concern• Case vignette of FPO2• Inhibit through spectral• Default inhibit in DTD: 1-6 HZ• Fear seems encoded in these slow frequencies• Overlapping rewards and inhibits copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    30. 30. Left hemisphere training• Always keeping your awareness on raising arousal beyond what’s helpful• Left hemisphere can be trained quite low• Will be required in most people with DTD, but add only as needed• Neuville protocol: FP1, 15-18 HZ, inhibit 0-1, 1-2; 2-3 HZ; balance as necessary with P4 Tx copyright Sebern Fisher 2011
    31. 31. Cerebellum Protocols?• O1-02• TPO-TPO (Temporal parietal junction)• Inion- does it regulate the vermis?• Beta Reset (Gisburne) – No longer the arousal model – Are we reaching the cerebellum? – If so, how – These sites have EEG and are trainable copyright Sebern Fisher 2011

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