By Lize Maritz and Kerry Swarts
Any trauma, even those from early childhood, have an impact on a person’s brainwave activity and thus also their functioning. When someone experiences trauma, the brain pads brainwaves at the temporal lobes, where trauma is stored, to protect the person against the trauma.
Depending on what kind of trauma occurred, either abandonment or infringement trauma, the padding will occur at either the left or right temporal lobe. This directly impacts coping mechanisms in conflict situations. It can either put a person into fight-or-flight or freeze mode. Emotional results of these trauma’s will be rage, aggression, post traumatic stress, anger, irritation, frustration, fear of confrontation, lack of personal boundaries and combinations of these. Because your brain’s only concern is survival, you could hold onto these patterns forever. If you have grown up in a house with a lot of screaming and shouting, your brain will reset your internal thermostat so that you are able to go on with things like eating and homework while you continue living there. It means that you will be able to carry on with life but you will also always be on guard, you will always be waiting for the next thing to go wrong and you are never able to totally relax.
Brain training allows your brain to see the pattern that your brain is holding on to and let it go or work out a new coping pattern. When these imbalances are rebalanced, it means that a person might be able to deal with life situations in a more productive way. Neurotherapy works incredibly fast at addressing these trauma’s. It is almost like you are allowing your brain to “control, alt, delete” and reset the pattern of holding on to this.
How does trauma manifest with children?
Jimmy Henderson is a qualified trauma counsellor and says that in cases where children do not yet have complex coping mechanisms, the most common symptoms might be: emotional paralysis, regular agitation, outburst of crying, inability to complete tasks (i.e schoolwork), not eating or sleeping (nightmares) correctly and physical symptoms such as diarrhoea, cramps etc. When they are older, they may speak of feeling afraid and helpless.
Claire agrees and says that it can also be expressed as disorganised or agitated behaviour. “Kids do not necessarily need to look bewildered as adults expect them to look, but that does not mean that they are okay.”
Examples of “Hidden” symptoms to watch out for are: Kids who cannot stay involved (settle) in routine games and want their mom or minder in constant sight. Younger kids might become upset when their parents aren’t around. They might struggle with sleep or suddenly develop problems with potty training or bedwetting. Kids can show signs of reliving the trauma in the following ways: