Water cooler talk

By Mark Weiss Ph.D. – Friday march 1, 2013

The origins of trauma in children from conception to three years of age; it’s effect on adult behavior and its treatment

I. Key factors in the creation of trauma:

1. Inner or outer experience of stress or pain

2. The experience of feeling totally alone; without support (bicycle metaphor)

3. Changing our paradigm from age zero to 3 to conception and even past inter-generational abuse and trauma

4. Trauma as an isomorphic transmittable electro-chemical event (abused mother transfers reactive post-traumatic behavioral reaction patterns to daughter who has not been abused)

II. Signs in adult treatment of trauma induced in early childhood

1. Intense and sudden reactivity (hijacking)

2. Polarized black and white thinking

3. Exaggerated perception of danger

4. Overwhelm


III. Treatment modalities effective with trauma resolution

1. Eye movement de-sensitisation and reprocessing (bilateral stimulation)

2. Emotional freedom technique: tapping on specific acupuncture points while visualizing trauma events and repeating ‘even though I have this (feeling), I deeply and completely accept myself’

3. Internal family systems therapy which helps clients locate key places in the body where they store traumatic events and through metaphorical communication helps the client to ‘unburden’ the emotional intensity associated with specific traumas


The talk takes place at the Urban Child Institute.

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