The Conditioned Nervous System (PART 3)

A trauma-sensitive perspective on abuser/abused, victim/narcissist 

This is part 3, please first refer to part 1 and part 2 before reading. (Click the highlighted link)

Last week I discussed the dynamics and conditioned responses of the nervous system that underpin pathological narcissism and create the dynamic between abuser and the abused.

Of course, there are many other factors aside from just the conditioned fight reflex that are embedded within the structure of narcissism, such as disturbances in the development of self representations and fractured psychic structures due to arrests in childhood individuation. Nonetheless, for reasons of understanding the dynamics the fundamentals are more important than the details in this case and it is not necessary to fully understand the finer details in order to heal or gain deeper insight. 

This week I am going to discuss healing from narcissism and from narcissistic abuse.

My intention is not to offer a...

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Autonomic Nervous System 101


Fight / Flight / Freeze / Fawn

I'm sure you've heard of these nervous system states at some point.
In the above video we talk about what that actually looks like inside the branches of the Autonomic Nervous System.

When our nervous system perceives threat in the environment it will make a decision (without our conscious awareness of 'why') as to which state will be most beneficial to our survival.

Now our nervous system is not only reacting to physical threat, it is reacting to threats to our identity.
The mechanism is actually the same.

Fight / Flight
- Sympathetic
- Mobilised 
- Intense Energy
- "MOVE"

Freeze / Fawn
- Para-sympathetic
- Immobilised
- Shutdown or Collapse
- Dissociation 

Connection / Social Engagement
- Ventral Vagal
- Safe (no Fear)
- Meditative State
- Play & Fun

Being able to activate the Ventral Vagus will start to re-adapt the nervous system.
Meaning we can regulate in a more efficient manner, both with circumstances that arise in our daily life & when...

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