We don’t get over things, we integrate them into our story. Much of the healing process is centered around this task; creating new experiences and ways of interacting with events in the past. By expanding and re-organizing our emotional responses, we open up new possibilities for the future. ⁣

Without integration, we tend to get stuck in rigid patterns of coping. The echoes of the past come alive in the present and we are thrown into a survival stance. This then reflects and creates further distress in a cyclical pattern. The limbic system (the part of our brain involved in behavioral and emotional responses) knows no chronology; it doesn’t matter if something happened ten minutes ago or ten years ago, if it’s distressing enough, it’ll send us into fight, flight, or freeze. Having a framework for understanding our experience and the patterns that developed around it help us chart a new path forward. ⁣

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* The information provided is for self-enrichment and not intended to replace any necessary mental health treatment.⁣


Jonathan Dixon, LMFT

Alpha Omega Team