Franz Ruppert – Basics of trauma – 1

IoPT Norway lecture. Podcast Franz Ruppert

Trauma, symptoms, and disease

Adverse life experiences leave traces. Being violated, bullied, abused, neglected, and having experienced deep insecurity in early childhood, often lies behind pain and disease in adulthood. In addition, generationally transferred traumas leave shadows.

All we need to process traumas is stored in our body and appears in therapy when we need it.
Prof. Franz Ruppert

The word trauma is Greek and means to perforate something which is intact. Stated another way, the body or the soul has an injury or a wound. Just a few years ago the word “trauma” was almost taboo. Fortunately, this has changed drastically in recent years. Writers, researchers, and journalists have published numerous books and articles on the topic and the word trauma is now a commonly used word in the Norwegian language. Authors like Anna Luise Kirkengen, Ane Brandzæg Naess, Kari Killen, Inga Marte Thorkildsen, Franz Ruppert, Marta Thorsheim etc. have all released  books in 2015 contributing with knowledge of how vulnerable we are as small children and how violations in our own or ancestral childhood leave lasting impressions that can be expressed through many different symptoms, all the way into adulthood.

Dr. Gabor Maté’s research and his book «When the Body says no», , supports the work of the authors mentioned above. It makes sense to learn about the connection between experiences and emotions, and when something that used to be meaningless becomes understandable, that may be a relief. It may be what is needed start processing offensive and difficult life experiences. Dr. Siegel’s book on neurobiology «Pocket guide to Interpersonal neurobiology» and Joachim Bauer’s book «Why I feel what you feel» both represent important contributions to understanding how mirroring through representatives can activate mirror neurons in the brain and make it possible to evoke memories, both explicit and implicit. Trauma leave traces, can cause symptoms and diseases and can limit our ability to live life the way we want to.

The path from stress to trauma

A traumatic event is not something that releases itself, as is the case with short-term stressful experiences. Similarly, long-term stress has the same effect as a traumatic event, it causes the same symptoms and can cause trauma itself .
Traumatic events and prolonged stress, continue to influence the psyche until they are therapeutically processed.
Most of us have experienced stressful or threatening situations that we cannot “fight or flee”, perhaps fighting would exacerbate the situation or flight was not an option, any such experience is an experience that can provide lasting wounds. A trauma is therefore an experience where the stress level becomes unmanageable. As a result, we end up in helplessness and intense pain, our normal body reaction patterns and defense mechanisms are not enough. Instead we start using the most drastic survival mechanisms, immobility and freeze. This happens physically in the body (muscular and chemical) and it happens psychologically by the experience and memories of the trauma that are frozen and separated from the rest of the psyche. In technical terms, this is called dissociation and splitting of the psychic structure.

Traumatization – What happens with the psyche?

In the book “Haunted Self” Onno Van der Harth, Ellert R. S. Nijenhuis and Kathy Steel present  a two-part model of trauma: “The emotional personality (EP)” and “The apparently normal personality (ANP).” Through his research and practical experience Prof.Ruppert has described a threefold model where EP = the traumatized part (TP) and the ANP is divided into two meaningful segments: the healthy part (HP) and the survival part (SP). Using this threefold model Prof. Ruppert shows, in an understandable and recognizable way, what happens when we experience more than we can manage to integrate. The body and psyche separates or splits off layers so we can survive (so-called splitting). Only at the stage when the body and mind must separate (for us to survive) does Ruppert denote the event as traumatic.

For an experience to be traumatizing, it must fulfill the following four conditions:

  • Overwhelming. The situation is perceived as totally overwhelming for the person concerned.
  • Helplessness. The person involved feels totally helpless.
  • Life threatening. A feeling of not being able to survive, a feeling that your very existence is threatened.
  • Separation / fragmentation of the psyche in different parts:
    • Healthy part: These are the healthy structures that are present prior to a difficult event.
    • Traumatized part: This is the part of the psyche/soul containing overwhelming feelings and memories of the event (s). These are “frozen” in the subconscious, but lie and wake to come to the surface triggered by sounds, smells, events, and people.
    • Survival part: These are coping strategies, doing what they can to prevent trauma feelings, memories and sensations from the event to come to the surface. Also called protective strategies.

Below is a simple illustration of the splits of the psyche:

Different types of trauma, also trauma of love

Trauma can be caused by (among other things) natural disasters, human violence, sexual abuse, and lack of love. It can be further divided into:

  • Existential trauma
  • Trauma of loss
  • Trauma of love (former trauma of connection/trauma of symbiosis)
  • Trauma of identity, e.g. early trauma/attachment trauma.

We normally associate the first two types mentioned above with the word trauma. These are also the ones that are easiest to process. The method of intention turns out to be well suited to handle all types of trauma.

Prof. Franz Ruppert has researched existential trauma, trauma of loss, trauma of love, trauma of identity and connection system trauma, and his findings support the fact that a resonance process using the method of the intention is reliable for all types of trauma and injustice.

Safe and lasting trauma therapy

During trauma processing, it is important that the client feels safe and can determine the pace him/herself. The method of intention, along with our ethical guidelines, facilitate the client’s development and enhancement of their healthy parts, recognizing survival mechanisms and finding good alternatives, and processing trauma within a safe framework. Thus, the client can take steps toward greater freedom.

  • For an overview, we recommend that you attend one of our free evening introduction classes.
  • To obtain a deeper understanding please consider one-on-one therapy with a registered trauma therapist, joining one of our personal development groups or looking into trauma therapy training.

Research and experience shows that trauma is passed on to the next generation if it isn’t processed. Your challenges may originate in traumatic events that your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents were exposed to. Problems your children have, may also have their roots in experiences that are further behind in the genus.

Method of intention

The method of intention  is an effective method of personal development and psychotherapy. The method makes it possible to gain an understanding of, and process whatever prevents you from living a full and enjoyable life. By seeing and accepting what is you will be able to express your true self and become who you really are.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these symptoms?

  • Difficulties in private or work relationships
  • Wishing for a better partner relationshop
  • Sleeping problems
  • Unexplained chronic ailments or pain
  • Low energy
  • Depressed
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Amnesia
  • Indecision
  • Hyperactivity
  • Anxiety
  • Sexual dysfunction

If so, trauma therapy with the method of intention might offer you understanding and relief. For an introduction, we encourage you to attend one of our free evening introduction classes. To obtain a deeper understanding please consider one-on-one therapy with a certified trauma therapist, joining one of our personal development groups or looking into trauma therapy training.