A therapeutic modality for trauma
Day 11 - July 19, 2021 – Integrating Life & Art
I did a tapping session today. Tapping, or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), is a therapeutic modality that works to release old trauma still lodged in the physical body. This is premised on the concept that when we are exposed to trauma, especially as children, our bodies store information and energy at many levels, not simply psychological.
During Tapping, acupoints on the body are tapped while considering a traumatic situation or event in a slow progression to maintain a low to moderate level of stress. The practitioner helps the client to assess their stress level and reframe the incident using positive affirmations.
There are patterns of thought and behavior, triggers, and painful emotions that don’t respond to traditional psychiatric approaches, such as talk therapy. In these cases, experts like Bessel van der Kolk suggest body-based approaches that include EMDR, yoga, neurofeedback, and EFT.
I’ve been interested in alternative approaches for years because I’ve lived with partial memories of suspected sexual abuse most of my life. I’ve contemplated hypnosis several times but based on the research have always concluded it is more likely to create false memories than recover real ones.
Today's tapping brought up the importance of perspective; connecting the physical, neurological, and psychological changed my reaction to memories I have of the trauma I experienced and its related nightmare. I call the nightmare Armageddon because that’s the feeling it elicits in me; the dream seems to hold more trauma than the incident itself.
Emotion flooded through me as I considered the terrible images from Armageddon. I have talked about that dream a million times without feeling much, but today I was fearful, anxious, truly feeling how I felt as a child having that dream.
As I repeated the grounding words suggested by the therapist, “I am bringing power back into my body,” I was filled with empathy for the little girl who lost part of herself in a seat on her school bus. I was just a little girl, but it’s only recently I can see I was the innocent.
I wasn't sad exactly, or feeling the suffering, more like the bigness of it came back to me and hit me like a tidal wave. I feel the enormity of this trauma in my life and how it has shaped so many of my relationships over the years.
I feel the need to go swimming in the lake; being immersed in water will be good.
As I walked home from the beach today, I got the image in my head of clear beach glass placed half over the colored paper and half over a white tile to show up the shade variations. Against a dark background, you don’t detect minor color differences as well as you do against a white background. Even when comparing pieces of white beach glass (from initially clear glass), they are rarely the same.
When I got to the studio, the circle I had imagined creating became a square. Maybe it is related to today's tapping session – I mentioned that I’ve always been a square peg in a round hole. The theme of circles, circles and cycles, patterns, seem related as well.
But I finished the piece by placing a perfect circular rock in the center of the square. This piece explores “shades of gray,” what is seen vs what is hidden, and accentuates the import of perspective.
What happens when I apply a little gloss to the dull gray stone in the center?
It becomes more beautiful, as when you see it underwater at the beach; there is more than meets the eye. But somehow it’s the opposite with beach glass. The duller surface brought about by tumbling over and over in the waves against rock and sand, brings up subtleties in texture, color, and shade, making each piece unique.
I love today's piece, but unfortunately, I forgot to use the alcohol ink instead of the water ink and I have four spots that won't dry. I’ll need to explore different sealers to preserve the surface so it won't run.
I used green and aqua beach glass in the piece as well; the lake was prolific today! I love how the shade variations appear different against black and white backgrounds.
Perspective shifts what is and isn't evident - from Tapping to art.
Until tomorrow... For Your Consideration...
What shift in perspective do you want to explore?
Do you want to create your own 30-Day Project? Is it time to LEAP?