- Trauma is not solely located in the body: According to neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett, trauma is rooted in the brain’s predictions and the construction of our experiences. The brain heavily weighs and anticipates adverse experiences, strengthening the neural connections associated with them.
Predictions and re-experiencing reinforce trauma: When an adverse experience becomes traumatic, the brain continuously predicts and re-experiences it, reinforcing the neural connections related to the trauma. This makes the predictions more likely to occur in the future.
Changing the brain’s predictions is key to healing: Instead of focusing on the body as the site of healing, Feldman Barrett suggests that addressing and changing the brain’s models of prediction is crucial to breaking free from the cycle of trauma. Understanding the role of predictions and the brain’s plasticity offers hope for transforming traumatic experiences and finding lasting paths to healing.
Supplemental Information ℹ️
In her perspective, Lisa Feldman Barrett challenges the conventional understanding of trauma and highlights the importance of the brain’s predictive mechanisms. She argues that by targeting and reshaping these predictions, we can effectively address and overcome trauma. This perspective opens up new possibilities for trauma-informed approaches and offers hope for those seeking healing from traumatic experiences.
Trauma isn’t just about what happens in our bodies; it’s deeply connected to how our brains predict and construct our experiences. When a traumatic event occurs, our brain heavily focuses on and anticipates it, reinforcing the associated neural connections. To break free from trauma, we need to change our brain’s predictions rather than solely relying on physical healing.
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