Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences (Anglais) Broché – 7 juillet 1997
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When a young tree is injured it grows around that injury. As the tree continues to develop, the wound becomes relatively small in proportion to the size of the tree. Gnarly burls and misshapen limbs speak of injuries and obstacles encountered through time and overcome. The way a tree grows around its past contributes to its exquisite individuality, character, and beauty. I certainly don’t advocate traumatization to build character, but since trauma is almost a given at some point in our lives, the image of the tree can be a valuable mirror.
Although human beings have been experiencing trauma for thousands of years, it is only in the last ten years that it has begun to receive widespread professional and public attention...
Revue de presse
—Bernard S. Siegal, M.D., Author of Love, Medicine & Miracles and Peace, Love, and Healing
"Fascinating! Amazing! A revolutionary exploration of the effects and causes of trauma."
—Mira Rothenberg, Director Emeritus of Blueberry Treatment Centers for Disturbed Children, Author of Children With Emerald Eyes
"It is a most important book. Quite possibly a work of genius."
—Ron Kurtz, Author of Body Reveals and Body-Centered Psychotherapy
"Levine effectively argues that the body is healer and that psychological scars of trauma are reversible—but only if we listen to the voices of our body."
—Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D., Professor of Human Development and Psychology, University of Maryland
"A vital contribution to the exciting emerging science of mind/body interaction in the treatment of disease."
—Robert C. Scaer, M.D., Neurology, Medical Director, Rehabilitation Services, Boulder Community Hospital
"Peter Levine’s work is visionary common sense, pure and simple."
—Laura Huxley, lifetime partner and collaborator of Aldous Huxley
“[Waking the Tiger] is an excellent resource for those who have been traumatized or know someone who suffers from trauma, like a soldier returning from war. Finally, there is help that doesn’t ask us to relive what happened and re-experience the pain. Instead, it follows the body’s wisdom in its search for renewal and healing.”
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There is a LOT more to the healing techniques of Somatic Experiencing than in this book. I look forward to learning more techniques to clear the trauma from my body/mind. Somatic Experiencing is giving me the life I struggled so hard for in many years of previous therapy to attain. And it is so much easier, with less tears, hard work and pain! I have never experienced the levels of inner peace and calm that I have now. All my relationships are improving as well.
For someone like myself, this will take more than 6 sessions as one person mentioned. I have a highly skilled therapist who is trained by Dr. Peter Levine in Somatic Experiencing. I know it will take many months to complete my healing but I have accomplished more in 15 sessions with her than being in therapy off and on for 16 years, reading books, and doing all kinds of things to get my life back.
My life is just easier in every way. Thank you, Dr. Peter Levine, for helping me heal so I have a life worth living and making a difference in my son's life as well.
Levine reinforces the holistic nature of the human being. Our bodies and brains connect instinct, emotion and rationality to our experience. Trauma may create damaging and often enduring symptoms. Human beings have a harder time than do animals in releasing trauma and may carry it throughout our lives. We often become frozen in trauma, unlike animals that can cope with the unpredictability of nature. This may provide a major interference with our health, peace of mind and the ability to live joyfully and creatively. When human trauma remains unhealed, the energy of the trauma and accompanying emotions remain locked within the brain and held within the body's musculature, tissues and organs, awaiting discharge.
The author writes about an oft-forgotten aspect of trauma, freezing or immobilization during a traumatic experience. Modern medicine/psychiatry emphasize the "flight or fight" response while often neglecting the freeze response. The concept of the freeze response in the face of overwhelming threat provides a missing link to symptoms such as dissociation that our old ideas of "fight or flight" fail to explain. Immobilization in the face of threat is an automatic biological response that is not voluntarily chosen by the victim. This provides redeeming message to trauma survivors.
Levine points out that our memories are not literal recordings of events, but rather, a complex of images that are influenced by arousal, emotional context, and prior experience. Memories may even transform over time as new experiences add layers of meaning to the images. While remembering the past can be an important aspect of therapy, appreciating the subjective quality of memories is crucial to integrating them appropriately into the healing process.
Those with deep psychological scars may have dissociated the memory from their minds and are living in a numbed, tensed body awaiting its release so the body can return to wholeness and optimum mental and physical health. The author asserts that psychological wounds are reversible and that healing comes when the physical and mental letting go occurs, similar to the way the tiger experiences the coming and going of threat, tensing in response to danger, and as the threat passes, the tiger's muscles shake, twitch and let go right then and there the fear related energy which now is forever out of mind and body. Trauma is stored energy that must be released.
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