Nature's Lessons in Healing Trauma...
Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed.
Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on a guided tour of the subtle, yet powerful impulses that govern our responses to overwhelming life events. To do this, it employs a series of exercises that help us focus on bodily sensations. Through heightened awareness of these sensations trauma can be healed.
From Chapter 3: Wounds That Can Heal
When a young tree is injured it grows around that injury. As the tree continues to develop, the wound becomes relatively small in proportion to the size of the tree. Gnarly burls and misshapen limbs speak of injuries and obstacles encountered through time and overcome. The way a tree grows around its past contributes to its exquisite individuality, character, and beauty. I certainly don’t advocate traumatization to build character, but since trauma is almost a given at some point in our lives, the image of the tree can be a valuable mirror.
Although human beings have been experiencing trauma for thousands of years, it is only in the last ten years that it has begun to receive widespread professional and public attention...
Excerpted from Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma by Peter A. Levine, Ph.D.. Copyright © 1997 by Peter A. Levine. Excerpted by permission of North Atlantic Books, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Table of Contents
Giving the Body Its Due
Finding a Method • Body and Mind • The Body As Healer • How To Use This
Section I: The Body As Healer
1. Shadows from a Forgotten Past
Nature’s Plan • Why Look to the Wild? • Trauma is Physiological • It’s About Energy
2. The Mystery of Trauma
What is Trauma? • Chowchilla, California • Waking the Tiger: A First Glimmering
3. Wounds That Can Heal
Trauma Is Not a Disease But a Dis-Ease
4. A Strange New Land
Trauma is Not a Life Sentence • The Strange New Land • Trauma! • What We Don’t Know Can Hurt Us • A Traumatized Person’s Reality • Get On with Your Life • Who Is Traumatized? • Causes of Trauma
5. Healing and Community
Shamanic Approaches to Healing • Somatic Experiencing® • Acknowledging the Need to Heal • Let Us Begin—Calling the Spirit Back to the Body
6. In Trauma’s Reflection
Medusa • The Felt Sense • Let the Body Speak Its Mind • Using The Felt Sense to Listen to the Organism • How the Organism Communicates • Sensation and the Felt Sense • Rhythm: All God’s Children Got It
7. The Animal Experience
The Animals Do It Too • When the Reptilian Brain Speaks, Listen! • One with Nature • Attunement • The Orienting Response • Flee, Fight...or Freeze • The Return to Normal Activity • Animals as Teachers
8. How Biology Becomes Pathology: Freezing
The Stage is Set • Blame It on the Neo-cortex • Fear and Immobility • “As They Go In, So They Come Out” • Like Death Itself • It’s a Cumulative Effect • How Biology Becomes Pathology
9. How Pathology Becomes Biology: Thawing
Nancy Re-examined: A First Step • It’s All Energy • Marius: A Next Step • Renegotiation • Somatic Experiencing—Gradated Renegotiation • Elements of Renegotiation
Section II: Symptoms of Trauma
10. The Core of the Traumatic Reaction
Arousal—What Goes Up Must Come Down • Trauma is Trauma, No Matter What Caused It/ Exercises • The Core of the Traumatic Reaction • Hyperarousal • Constriction • Dissociation/ Exercises • Helplessness • And Then There Was Trauma
11. Symptoms of Trauma
Symptoms of Trauma • And Around and Around We Go • Out of the Loop
12. A Traumatized Person’s Reality
The Threat That Can’t Be Found • Mrs. Thayer • Can’t Synthesize New Information/Can’t Learn • Chronic Helplessness • Traumatic Coupling • Traumatic Anxiety • Psychosomatic Symptoms • Denial • Gladys • What Trauma Survivors Expect • The Last Turn
Section III: Transformation and Renegotiation
13. Blueprint for Repetition
Re-enactment • July 5th, 6:30 in the Morning • The Vital Role of Awareness • Jack • Patterns of Shock • Without Awareness We Have No Choice • Re-enactment Versus Renegotiation • In the Theater of the body • Post Script: How Far in Time and Space?
Two Faces of Trauma • Heaven, Hell and Healing: A Middle Ground • Let it Flow—Renegotiation • Margaret • What Really Happened? • Renegotiation and Re-enactment • What is Memory? • Brain and Memory • But It Seems So Real! • But I’m Proud to Be a Survivor • The Courage to Feel • Desire and Healing • With a Little Help from Our Friends
15. The Eleventh Hour: Transforming Societal Trauma
The Animal Approach to Aggression • Human Aggression • Why Do Humans Kill, Maim and Torture One Another? • Circle of Trauma, Circle of Grace, Transforming Cultural Trauma • Epilogue or Epitaph? • Nature Is No Fool
Section IV: First Aid for Trauma
16. Administering (Emotional) First Aid After an Accident
Following an Automobile Accident • Scenario of Healing
17. First Aid for Children
Delayed Traumatic Reactions • First Aid for Accidents and Falls • Resolving a Traumatic Reaction • How Can I Tell If My Child Has Been Traumatized? • Sammy—A Case History • Traumatic Play, Re-enactment, and Renegotiation • Key Principles for Renegotiating Trauma with Children
Epilogue: Three Brains, One Mind
About Peter A. Levine, Ph.D.
Dr. Peter A. Levine, author of the best-selling Waking the Tiger and of Healing Trauma, has a background in medical biophysics, stress, and psychology. He developed Somatic Experiencing®, and serves as a consultant to the Meadows, a leading residential addiction recovery center. He lives on the banks of the St. Vrain River in the Rocky Mountains.
"Every life contains difficulties we are not prepared for. Read, learn, and be prepared for life and healing."
—Bernard S. Siegal, M.D., Author of Love, Medicine & Miracles and Peace, Love, and Healing
"Fascinating! Amazing! A revolutionary exploration of the effects and causes of trauma."
—Mira Rothenberg, Director Emeritus of Blueberry Treatment Centers for Disturbed Children, Author of Children With Emerald Eyes
"It is a most important book. Quite possibly a work of genius."
—Ron Kurtz, Author of Body Reveals and Body-Centered Psychotherapy
"Levine effectively argues that the body is healer and that psychological scars of trauma are reversible—but only if we listen to the voices of our body."
—Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D., Professor of Human Development and Psychology, University of Maryland
"A vital contribution to the exciting emerging science of mind/body interaction in the treatment of disease."
—Robert C. Scaer, M.D., Neurology, Medical Director, Rehabilitation Services, Boulder Community Hospital
"Peter Levine’s work is visionary common sense, pure and simple."
—Laura Huxley, lifetime partner and collaborator of Aldous Huxley
“[Waking the Tiger] is an excellent resource for those who have been traumatized or know someone who suffers from trauma, like a soldier returning from war. Finally, there is help that doesn’t ask us to relive what happened and re-experience the pain. Instead, it follows the body’s wisdom in its search for renewal and healing.”