A Study in Trauma and Somatic Memory
A Two-Day Workshop with Dr Janina Fisher PhD
Recorded Saturday 13 and 20 June 2020
It is not the traumatic events that haunt survivors for decades afterward. It is the impact or legacy of those events in the form of emotional, body and behavioural memories.
Janina Fisher, PhD
In this workshop, we will look at how the neuroscience and attachment research of the past twenty years has transformed our notions of “memory”. We now know that “the body keeps the score,” that our most painful experiences are less often remembered than encoded in wordless somatic and emotional memories.READ MORE...
The body, Janina will propose, also “remembers” the habits of responding that helped us survive painful experiences, even when the reactions are no longer adaptive. Though none of these implicit nonverbal memories can be retrieved voluntarily, they are easily evoked by the subtlest reminders of the past: we suddenly feel frightened, ashamed, enraged, impulsive, or numb without any subjective sense that we are remembering.
Participants at this seminar will learn a new model for understanding memory that focuses less on events and more on the legacy of nonverbal implicit memories that keep traumatic and painful past events alive in the body. This new and cutting-edge approach to memory has different goals than earlier methods. Its purpose is to transform implicit memories by evoking new responses that replace feelings of terror and helplessness with a sense of “power back”. In this work we aim to repair feelings of aloneness, inadequacy, and shame so that clients can at long last construct “a healing story” about their lives.
Using interventions adapted from EMDR, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, clinical hypnosis and mindfulness-based therapies, Janina will demonstrate simple, practical interventions for addressing the effects of past experience rather than the events themselves. Underlying this is an assumption that it is less important to know what happened than to know that the trauma is over and we are finally safe.