There are situations and events in the here and now that trigger past memories and our past responses. These memories can be conscious or unconscious. Regardless, people periodically brace (as defined as their muscles tighten) in response to these memories. Or they have enacted this brace reaction for so long, it’s now part of an unconscious habitual lifestyle.
In my experience, although chronic shame resolution work involves slow, incremental shifts, when very deep early needs for external protection are finally met, it can shift the very foundation of someone’s experience in a profoundly curative way.
Can you remember a time when someone said, “Can I tell you a secret?”
Were you intrigued? Did you feel a slight stirring inside? What sort of revelation did you prepare yourself to receive?
Isn’t it funny how images and connotations, interpretations and expectations can make the body respond in certain ways?
What do you experience in your own nervous system when you expect a client is about to reveal some secret traumatic event? How does your body physically react? With impulses, shivers, goose bumps? Perhaps a sense of dread and queasiness in the belly, a catch of your breath . . .? While such disclosures are often necessary and vital to treatment, there are also other secrets that can bring healing to soma and soul.
Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, simply and profoundly captures the point when he writes, “The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” This wise truth was delightfully demonstrated recently in a session with Neko, a twenty-two-year-old client with mild developmental delays, whose strength and soul wisdom had been hidden in the unlikely location of a traumatic past.