Why Psychotraumatology:  A Journey of Transformation and Healing

In the ancient Greek myth of Psyche, we find a powerful narrative that resonates deeply with Psychotraumatology. This myth, which tells the story of a mortal woman named Psyche and her trials and tribulations, offers profound insights into the human capacity for transformation and healing in the face of adversity.

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The Quest for Self-Discovery:

Psyche’s trials, which included tasks that seemed impossible, mirror the challenges faced by those on the path to healing from trauma. Psychotrauma survivors embark on a quest for self-discovery, seeking to understand the depths of their own psyche and confront the daunting tasks of processing their traumatic experiences.

The Light of Self-Reflection:

One of the key elements in Psyche’s story is her encounter with a mirror. This mirrors the introspection and self-reflection that are essential components of Trauma therapy. Trauma survivors often need to confront their own reflections, their past experiences, and their emotional wounds to embark on a path of healing.

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The Journey Through Darkness: Psyche’s journey began in darkness when she was cast adrift by forces beyond her control. Similarly, individuals who have experienced trauma often find themselves in a dark and unfamiliar emotional landscape. The trauma they endure can feel like a descent into the unknown, where fear and pain reign. transformation and healing in the face of adversity.



The Power of Love and Resilience:

The love story between Psyche and Eros (Cupid) is emblematic of the healing journey in psychotraumatology. Love, in this context, represents the innate human capacity for resilience and the transformative power of relationships and support systems. Just as Eros’ love for Psyche brought her back from the brink of despair, the support and care of therapists, friends, and loved ones can play a crucial role in a trauma survivor’s recovery.

Emerging Transformed: At the heart of the Psyche myth is the theme of transformation. Psyche’s journey through darkness, her resilience, and her capacity to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges ultimately lead to her transformation into a goddess.

Psyche is often depicted as a butterfly or a moth, symbolizing transformation and rebirth.

Similarly, individuals who engage in psychotrauma therapy often emerge from their traumatic experiences transformed, with a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.

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What is Trauma

Psychotraumatology is an interdisciplinary domain that delves into the bio-neuro-psychological ramifications of trauma on individuals

The core focus of psychotraumatology is on treating the effects of trauma.

These bring us the question, What is Trauma

Mainly, Trauma must not be conceptualized as an event (terrorism, war, accident, sexual abuse) even if these events have the potential or implicitly create traumatic memories.

We define trauma in four domains:

Biological: trauma is specifically an event that overwhelms the central nervous system, altering the way we process and recall memories. Trauma is not the story of something that happened back then, It's the current imprint of that pain, horror, and fear living in the body of the people. (van der Kolk)
Interpersonal Neurobiology: Trauma is an assault on integration relationally that compromises integration in the brain. Trauma impairs integrative functioning in the brain caused by overwhelming experiences (Siegel)
Neuroscientific: Trauma is the memory of an event that was stored in a dysfunctional and maladaptive way in memory neural networks  (Shapiro)
Psychological: Trauma is not what happens to you. Trauma is what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you (Maté)

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