The signs of preverbal trauma
Preverbal trauma involves trauma that happens in early childhood, usually before speech and language development. This, therefore, makes identifying the trauma particularly challenging. Sometimes the strongest experiences of PTSD stem from a time wherein you have no clear memory or way of articulating where the trauma stems from. This could include anything from medical complications as a child to child abuse and neglect. Preverbal trauma is the blueprint of early childhood relationships. Due to how early on the trauma occurs, the event is stored in a disorganised way. Therefore you may feel burdened by pains and uncomfortable experiences without knowing the root cause.
People may not even be aware of their own traumatic experiences at a young age as trauma can impact brain structures, leading to a block/memory loss of the traumatic event. For example, preverbal trauma does not have a clear word or memory that triggers a PTSD response. Instead, they might have flashing uncomfortable images or uncomfortable physical sensations with no cause.
Babette Rothschild, an expert on trauma and PTSD, believes that a ‘loss of control is at the centre of PTSD’. Taking this into consideration, as a therapist, my treatments involve regaining control over your trauma and not letting it control you.
Memory Recovery Treatment
With your therapist, you will want to work through the sensations and reactions associated with your trauma. It is important when dealing with memory reactions as they do not always represent the true event. Traumatic experiences are stored with emotional information and are disconnected from the context of the situation. Since the preverbal trauma is lacking in context when we remember the preverbal trauma, we almost always insert new information into the memory from our present state. Remembering only glimpses of trauma is referred to as ‘flashbulb’ trauma and often isn’t always seen as reliable as a normal memory as they only show a glimpse of the situation. It can be tempting for both trauma victims and therapists to project a narrative onto these flashbulb memories.
Memory recovery aims not to fill in the blanks with what we think may have happened but to distinguish the past from the present, which gives you a sense of control when the fragmented images or reaction arises. From there, a therapist will teach you how to control your reaction so you can respond positively; your therapist helps you to learn new regulatory patterns through a moment-to-moment interactive process of verbal and nonverbal communications. As you learn to live “here and now” instead of “there and then,” you can increase your capacity for daily practices of self-love and self-compassion.
Healing Preverbal Trauma
This healing process involves working with any present anxiety, dissociation or somatic distress. It is common to feel nauseous, numb, foggy, fatigued and disconnected when preverbal trauma arises. Your therapist will use fine-tuned approaches to help with the brain’s response to trauma, such as EMDR therapy. Throughout the process, you learn to become highly descriptive of your somatic experience and work through your body’s reactions to the traumatic sensations. The therapy also aims to tackle the root of the trauma and the unknown impacts of your childhood traumas. It is important to connect with the sensations you experience when undergoing therapy. The therapist will note your body’s physical reactions but will not interpret them for you. Instead, you work with the memory and describe how it feels. It is important to connect to the sensations by building a tolerance for bodily awareness.
Suppose you think you may be experiencing preverbal trauma. In that case, it is best to get in touch with a therapist today to begin your road to memory recovery, enabling you to control your trauma and deal with it in a healthier manner. When dealing with preverbal therapy, it is important to use a therapist you trust and feel secure in. Together, you will be able to come to grips with the trauma and learn to overcome it. So, please head over to my website, where you can book in for your consultation today. I promise to listen to your symptoms and help you manage them so that you can feel in control of your life again.