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        Michael Reddy, Ph.D, CPC
           Healer  Trainer  Author   610 469 7588

Thursday June 29, 2017
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Constellations and Wellness

Personality Layers--Why Some Wounds Need More than One Healing

Can't tell you how many times I've heard the "Oh I've already dealt with that" statement from clients. Sometimes I even know, by the way they say it, that it's exactly what we need to work on.

And I always tell them the same little story. Always give them the same layers model of how personalities develop and healing of deeper wounds works.

Surprisingly, it seems like many Confused Icon Yellowprofessional helper/healers are not aware of this simple way of understanding what's going on. So here it is...

Start with the Notion of Personalities as Layered

Imagine the beginning of life as the center of a circle. Around it form expanding rings of experience, learning, and yes, also at times--damage. This damage comes from overwhelm to the nervous system, is called "trauma," happens in many forms, and is inflicted these days to way too many of us.

As I've explained in recent blogs and newsletters, trauma causes "blurbacks" (or flashbacks) to that overwhelm that can cause similar overwhelms to recurBlurbacks, by the way, happen when anxious feelings from previous overwhelms attach themselves inappropriately to present circumstances.  (More here)

Tree Rings Cracks BrownSo now, as the layers keep adding on, like the growth a tree, damage that is closely related to the original events shows up on more superficial layers. Not too different from cracks in these tree rings.

 For Serious Damage--It's a "Wound System"

So let's say that in layers 5 and 6, somebody got badly abused in the family. Well that led to an expectation that love comes only with abuse. Now we see that person, around layers 12 or 13 (puberty, say), getting abused in an early relationship.

And maybe you are that Tree Rings Lots of Damage Brownperson (or are working with that person) now trying to heal this much later after an abusive marriage.

Suppose it looks like the damage in this tree. Does it make sense to think all these layers will heal all at once?

For interesting and helpful answers to this question, just read on in this short article.

How Collective Trauma Works--also in COOL DIAGRAMS

First, let's demystify "collectives."

Even though we North Americans have been fed the "rugged individualist" mystique for a couple centuries now--YOU are already a collective.

Cells, organs, hormonal and nervous systems, personality parts. Whatever level you want to look at, you are the result of cooperation (or the lack of it) between smaller, individual wholes.

So if the collective that is you can get traumatized (previous article), it makes sense that larger collectives you belong to can suffer disconnects and separations as well.

Let's Start with the Simplest

In Box 1, you see the structure of an African termite mound.  Look at all the organized activities they carry out, even though there's no central "brain." 

Every individual is like a neuron in what we call a "distributed intelligence."

Collective Trauma Diagrams Box1

Obviously, even this "simplest" collective organism is capable of amazingly smart, adaptive behaviors.

What Happens When We
Scale Up Through the Species?

Look at herds, packs, troupes of primates in Box 2.  In each case the amount of personal intelligence in each individual member goes up. But the collective "brain" formed by the group doesn't go away--it also gets smarter.  This is a consequence of the mammalian social empathy and limbic systems.

Collective Trauma Diagrams Box2

In we humans, that means that tight, survival oriented groups like families have a major, subconscious, distributed social intelligence.  In constellation work, we call it the "family soul," and it has definite characteristic behaviors.  Want to know what they are?

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