In one paragraph, present the work of a political figure, humanitarian, writer, artist, or musician that has been traumatized. Discuss how trauma shaped their work.  What ramifications did their trauma exposure have on others? Give particular attention to symptoms/problems as well as any areas of resiliency/posttraumatic growth that may be related to their trauma.  You might discuss any historical, cultural, and intrapersonal variables contributed to the persons response over time to the trauma.

You may need to use other resources besides the weekly reading to support your work and remember to cite resources with APA format.

Post an original submission to the discussion forum by Wednesday at 11:55pm. Your discussion starter will need to include research to support your ideas as well as references to where you paraphrased your research from at the bottom of your post.

Course Content:

Read Chapters 5 6 in Van der Kolk, B. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma.

Read Chapter 4 of Turow, R. G. (2017). Mindfulness skills for trauma and PTSD: Practices for recovery and resilience.


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Hello Dear Class,

Here are some thoughts as we enter Week 4:

Porges' polyvagal theory is one that is you will focus your learning on for this week's assignment. The polyvagal theory is one that is valuable in understanding for how trauma impacts the body and explains van der Kolk's idea of the body keeping the score of trauma. It also explains the "mind-body connection" which are often treated as separate entities. 

In addition, you will focus your learning on the "alert" system - what happens to the body when there is an actual or perceived threat - the body reacts to survive. This is called the fight/flight/freeze response and in your research this week, you may learn that there is also the "fawn" response as well as the "annihilate".

In Dr Bruce Perry's neurosequential model, the parts of the brain takes turns being in charge of functioning, so when the brain is on "alert" and focused on survival, it is not able to process thinking skills or articulate/comprehend language. This concept can be a life changer for those working with those who have been impacted by trauma - when you are vigilant to safety, you are not going to be able to focus on anything else, so the first goal of healing is to work on the felt sense of safety.

Dr Bruce Perry comes to Vermont to provide continuing education workshops about once a year (although during the pandemic, he was unable to and now that he has a new book out, he may be too busy to come here often). He developed the Neurosequential Model for understanding what happens in the brain as a result of trauma. His theory is the guiding star behind the work that I do with early childhood trauma. Bruce Perry/ Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. ( (Links to an external site.)

Here are two of his books that I recommend:

Perry, B.D. & Winfrey, O. (2021). What happened to you? Conversations on trauma, resilience, and healing. Flat Iron Books. ISBN: 978-1-250-22318-0

Perry, B.D. & Szalavitz, M (2017). The boy who was raised as a dog and other stories from a child psychiatrist's notebook: What traumatized children can teach us about loss, love and healing. Basic books. ISBN: 978-0-465-09445-5

How does the polyvagal theory translate into your world or work and leisure? Why is this theory an impactful one when considering the origins and impacts of trauma on a human being? Let's carry these thoughts with us into Week 4 and beyond! 

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