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Seeing The Whole Elephant: Integrating Biologically Informed/Body Oriented Interventions into Standard Practices. By Matthew Carter, MFT. Thoughts. Feelings. Behavior. Environment. Attachment. Genes. The Body as “Container” . All human experience has a biological correlate.

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Seeing The Whole Elephant:Integrating Biologically Informed/Body Oriented Interventions into Standard Practices

By Matthew Carter, MFT


Thoughts

Feelings

Behavior

Environment

Attachment

Genes


The body as container
The Body as “Container”

  • All human experience has a biological correlate.

  • Experiences (activation) repeated over time will become biological patterns.

  • These patterns will organize around survival, our body’s prime directive,

  • and ultimately drive thoughts, feelings, and behavior.


  • Family



How stress alters biology
How Stress Alters Biology behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.


Arousal
Arousal behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Definition: The body’s level

of reactivity to stimuli.

Calm


Visual Thalamus behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Visual Cortex

Amygdala

Scientific American

The Hidden Mind, 2002, Volume 12, Number 1


Vigilance behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Calm


Fight or flight
Fight or Flight behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Threat

Vigilance

Calm


. behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Threat

Oppositional

Vigilance

Calm


Overwhelm behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

.

Threat

Oppositional

Vigilance

Calm


. behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Overwhelm

.

Avoidant

Threat

Oppositional

Vigilance

Calm


. behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

.

Overwhelm

.

Aggressive

Avoidant

Threat

Oppositional

Vigilance

Calm


Maladaptive patterns
Maladaptive Patterns behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.


Trauma and neglect
Trauma and Neglect behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.


“The traumatized brain has a behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.distinctly different physiology from a non-traumatized brain.”

- Peter Levine


. behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

.

Overwhelm

.

Aggressive

Avoidant

Threat

Oppositional

Vigilance

Calm


Dissociation
Dissociation behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

.

.

.

Overwhelm

.

Aggressive

Avoidant

Threat

Oppositional

Vigilance

Calm

Dissociation


Calm behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

.

Compliance


Calm behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

.

.

Compliance

Dissociation


Calm behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

.

.

.

Compliance

Dissociation

Fainting


Post traumatic stress disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

  • Trauma is encoded as an abnormal form of memory, as images and sensations…

  • …in subcortical areas of the brain.

  • Thus treating PTSD requires activating and reprocessing these memories…

  • …which means more direct work with the trauma narrative.


Other long term effects of trauma and neglect
Other Long Term Effects of behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time. Trauma and Neglect


Visual Thalamus behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Visual Cortex

Amygdala

Scientific American

The Hidden Mind, 2002, Volume 12, Number 1


Overwhelm behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Threat

Vigilance

Calm


Lowered tolerance
Lowered Tolerance behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Overwhelm

Threat

Vigilance

Calm


Hypervigalence
Hypervigalence behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Overwhelm

Threat

Vigilance

.

Calm


Physiological symptoms
Physiological Symptoms behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.


Cardio. behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Disease


Depression behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Cardio.

Disease


Obesity behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Depression

Cardio.

Disease


ADHD behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Obesity

Depression

Cardio.

Disease


Asthma behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

ADHD

Obesity

Depression

Cardio.

Disease


Asthma behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

ADHD

Obesity

Depression

Cardio.

Disease


Changing biological patterns
Changing Biological Patterns behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

  • Promoting mindfulness

  • Practicing coping skills

  • Building capacity (raising threshold for overwhelm)

  • Lowering baseline arousal

  • Changing maladaptive behavioral patterns


Promoting mindfulness
Promoting Mindfulness behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Overwhelm

.

Threat

Vigilance

.

Calm


Orienting to the body
Orienting To the Body behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

  • Psychoeducation

  • Developing a vocabulary of sensation.

  • Process vs content vs activation

  • Working with moment-to-moment activation.


Markers of physiological changes
Markers of physiological changes behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

  • Wetness in the eyes

  • Shaking foot/leg

  • Swallowing

  • Gasps/sighs

  • Eyebrows


Practicing coping skills
Practicing Coping Skills behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Overwhelm

.

Threat

Vigilance

.

Calm


Coping skills
Coping Skills behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

  • Conscious breathing (focusing on outbreath)

  • Observation (mindfulness)

  • Distraction (thinking about something else, counting)

  • Sublimation (walking away, stretching, squeezing something)


Building capacity
Building Capacity behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Overwhelm

Threat

Vigilance

.

Calm


Overwhelm behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Threat

Vigilance

.

Calm


Overwhelm behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Threat


Overwhelm behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Overwhelm

Threat

Threat


Lowering baseline arousal
Lowering Baseline Arousal behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Overwhelm

Threat

Vigilance

.

.

Calm


Overwhelm behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

Threat

Vigilance

.

Calm


Changing maladaptive behavioral patterns
Changing Maladaptive Behavioral Patterns behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.


Introducing new patterns
Introducing New Patterns behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.


Resourcing
Resourcing behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

  • Grounding/orienting

  • Building resources

    • External resources


  • Community behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

  • Family


Resourcing1
Resourcing behavioral patterns requires changing the underlying biological patterns, which means changing experiences over time.

  • Grounding/orienting

  • Building resources

    • External resources

    • Internal resources


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