What We Do & The Science Behind It
Science and experience have taught us that human beings are wired for social connection. Highly stressful events can cause enduring physical harm to the brain, yet healing is possible through self-regulating and the loving kindness of others.
THE REACH WITHIN PRINCIPLES
The following simple principles are the foundation that guides our work.
Brain cells, connections and functions can regenerate. Using these interventions, lower brain centers can be remodeled allowing for internal calm and the opportunity for positive social interactions.
Rhythm based activities such as drumming, swimming, and running can help to re-pattern an overactive stress response system.
Breathing exercises, yoga, and mindful meditation can help the body maintain homeostasis or balance, in order to optimize overall functioning.
Calm consistent caregiving using eye gazing and therapeutic play can induce emotional regulation and security.
TRAUMA AND THE BRAIN
Though no two people respond to trauma in the same way, scientists can safely say that many regions of the brain are adversely affected by the toxic stress of abuse or neglect.
At times the fear center (amygdala) can’t discern threatening situations from safe ones.
Or, the center for emotional regulation (anterior cingulate gyrus) gets overwhelmed.
It could be that the prefrontal cortex can no longer mediate decision-making, planning, or interpersonal relationships.
One thing is certain: There are predictable brain changes that correspond closely with behavioral patterns following trauma, abuse, or neglect.