To answer this simple question, allow me first to provide a wee bit of context. I will be brief. If you prefer to skip the context, you're welcome to simply scroll to the end of the article for the answer.
First, a definition for Trauma-Informed:
Trauma-Informed - recognises the physiological (brain and nervous system) and psychological effects (perspective and perception) of trauma on an individual.
Trauma can effect the brain-body on par with a stroke leaving a lesion on the brain.
Just a few of the physical effects; up to 30% less pre-frontal cortex, impaired amygdala, brain stem and hippocampus.
The psychological effects of trauma are many. Allow me to highlight just two for now: Perspective and Perception.
The individual's Perspective (their GPS point if you will) is on par with a position 10 feet inside a cave on the side of a mountain. That's it. That's their perspective for everything.
Their Perception (the informed assessment made by observing and integrating all stimuli from their environment) is impaired to fractured. The part of physiology responsible for integrating stimuli coming in from their environment is not functioning properly, constantly leaving the person with an incomplete perception, that their mind confuses for whole. That alone, has major implications for Decision Making, Strategy, Vision and delivering major projects.
What is Unresolved Trauma in this context?
Unresolved trauma is dynamic and fluid, residing in the body, often out of the person's immediate awareness.
That unresolved trauma is moving within us disrupting our brain-body regulation all while seeking a way out of the body.
When it is trapped in the body, it becomes toxic to our mental, emotional and physical self leaving brain-body dis-regulated.
A body that is dis-regulated, creates sensations and feelings of fear and anxiety, insisting we are Not-Safe-Can't-Trust leading us to do all sorts of weird and wonderful things.
Trauma that has been processed and moved out of the body - is resolved trauma.
Resolved Trauma - Resolving your trauma shifts you from, trauma-fuelled living Highly-Functioning-Secretly-in-Despair, to trauma-healed living where we are -.
This latter stage is referred to as Post-Traumatic-Growth.
What about Post-Traumatic Growth?
Post Traumatic Growth emerges when the brain, body, and mind have been supported to move back into a state of Regulation. This is the result of engaging Top Down and Bottom Up resources that ease the brain-body out of ongoing dis-regulation, to Regulated.
The sensation in the regulated body is calm, clear, safe. And the mental, emotional bodies benefit from restored perception, and a total shift in perspective… this person is no longer 10 feet in a cave on the side of some mountain day-in and day-out. Now regulated in brain and body, they easily venture out of said cave, to the top of the mountain before stopping by the river, than the valley, than the city, than on to the next country.
That is really how big of a difference brain-body regulation makes; Living forever 10-feet inside a cave as your only view of the entire world. Or flying from mountain top to the next country..
There's Growth and then there's Trauma-Busy
Growth is the human's natural disposition. Growth offers us a sense of achievement, satisfaction, expanded horizons, increased opportunity, expanded networks, as well as access to activities we enjoy most, like learning.
When growth is impeded by past complex-trauma that can later appear as Complex Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (C-PTSD), growth gets displaced by things like:
busyness that keeps us moving in circles
constant change as we scan for greener pastures
stuckness met with enormous effort that over time, makes us feel trapped in said stuckness so we slowly come to a standstill
or we force growth fuelled by anxiety, fear, and addiction that we dress up into a costume we call Ambition at great expense to our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing
Where there is Complex-PTSD, there is suppression of feeling.
We (those of us with complex-trauma in our past that has yet to be healed) almost always prioritise action over emotion. For many of us, we are channelling all of our self into work at the expense of the other areas of life. We will do this until we can no longer ignore the inner conflict stirring within us bringing ever increasing states of dis-ease in mind, body, and/or emotion. All feedback from life to get us congruent, aligned and inspired from within.
What is Trauma-Informed Growth?
Trauma-Informed Growth prioritises mind, brain, body and business as we return ourself to the version of Growth that brings a sense of achievement, satisfaction, expanded network, and bigger horizons across all areas of life, including work.
Thanks for making it this far.
You can find me in a few places, like:
shannoneastman.com - 1-to-1 Trauma-Informed Coaching for Professionals
moodycow.life - a lot of my art projects end up here
nb3.io - B2B Firm - NextGen Performance: Business, Culture, People
TraumaInformedGrowth.life - My Podcast - The Trauma-Informed Growth Podcast explores the topics of Complex Trauma, C-PTSD, and Post-Traumatic Growth from a work-lens. We share Stories, Case-Studies, How-To and go deep into the 5Ws sharing ways to repair, recover and regulate mind, brain, body and business.
Amazon Worldwide - I've published 18 books, my latest book is C-PTSD at Work. 8.5 x 11 inches, $9.99 USD. The PDF version is free to download from shannoneastman.com - to buy Paperback versions of my books, visit Amazon and search 'Shannon Eastman Author'