The Trinity of Trauma: Ignorance, Fragility, and Control is structured as a trilogy. This book includes the third part.
Enactive trauma therapy is grounded in so-called enactivism, which holds that, like anyone else, traumatized individuals are (1) embrained, embodied, and environmentally embedded; (2) constitute biopsychological organism-environment systems that are essentially interested in preserving their existence; (3) are primarily affective and oriented toward making sense of things. Individuals exhibit a phenomenal self, world, and self-of-the-world through self- and world-oriented actions. They do not act on the basis of knowledge, but possess knowledge on the basis of world-engaged sensorimotor, affect-laden, and goal-oriented actions. Whenever interpersonal traumatization by significant others occurs, individuals may get caught up in affective and relational conflicts they cannot resolve on their own. Their generation and maintenance of a trauma-related dissociation of the personality involves a kind of sense-making that supports their continued existence when their capacity to integrate traumatic experiences is still too low. However, what starts as a courageous effort to navigate a traumatizing life may at some point in time become a serious problem. Enactive trauma therapy comprises the collaboration of two organism-environment systems: the patient and the therapist. Together they spawn new meaning and adequate actions – an interaction that resembles dancing: It takes pacing, mutual attunement, good timing, a sensitivity to balance, movement and rhythm, courage, as well as the ability and willingness to follow and lead.
About the Author:
As a psychologist and psychotherapist, Ellert R. S. Nijenhuis, Ph.D. has diagnosed and treated severely traumatized patients at the Mental Health Care Drenthe, The Netherlands, for over 30 years. For his book Somatoform dissociation: phenomena, measurement, and theoretical issues, he received his Ph.D. title with the highest honours at the Medical Department of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Since 2015, Nijenhuis devotes his time to researching and sharing his knowledge about the psychology and psychobiology of chronic traumatization and dissociation.