Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma
Peter A. Levine
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Nature's Lessons in Healing Trauma...
Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed.
Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. To do this, it employs a series of exercises that help us focus on bodily sensations. Through heightened awareness of these sensations trauma can be healed.
uses images that can easily be construed as memories. The energetic forces that result in trauma are immensely powerful. The emotions that are generated by trauma include rage, terror, and helplessness. If your body elects to communicate the presence of such energies to you through images,consider the kinds of images you might see. The possibilities are endless. They will have one thing in common-they won’t be pretty. One mistake that is made all too often is that people interpret these visual
we can identify elements essential to healing the effects of trauma. When Marius first begins to tell his story, he becomes riveted on his bloodied, torn pants and his father’s rejection. At that moment, this single fixed image holds the meaning of the entire incident. The condensation of an entire event into a single image is characteristic of trauma. From this event, Marius was left feeling defeated, bitterly hurt, and rejected. During the session, when he feels the emotions that he has
occur together over an extended period of time, they are an almost certain indication that we have experienced an event that has left us with unresolved traumatic residue. When we learn to recognize these four components of the traumatic reaction, we are well on our way to recognizing trauma. All other symptoms develop from these four if the defensive energy mobilized to respond to a traumatic event is not discharged or integrated within a few days, weeks, or months following the experience.
emotion and behavior can be completed, integrated, and made whole again. Along with this wholeness comes a sense of mastery and resolution. Postscript: How Far in Time and Space? No discussion of re-enactment would be complete without at least an acknowledgment of one intriguing aspect of traumatic repetition that defies explanation. Specifically, I am referring to re-enactments of traumatic events that can be tracked back through several generations of a family’s history. In a training
treacherous fangs and claws make it a self-assured predator. The line is not so clearly delineated for the human animal. When confronted with a life-threatening situation, our rational brains may become confused and override our instinctive impulses. Though this overriding may be done for a good reason, the confusion that accompanies it sets the stage for what I call the “Medusa Complex”—the drama called trauma. As in the Greek myth of Medusa, the human confusion that may ensue when we stare