Juliet was delighted to see the Trauma Expert Bessel van der Kolk (author of The Body Keeps the Score: Mind Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma) talk about how important his work with Al Pesso was – and how he uses this method (Pesso Boyden System of Psychotherapy – PBSP). He said
“I should do much more of it, because it’s the only thing that I feel really works, and that’s the stuff I learned from Al Pesso is to actually give people a visceral experience of what it would have been like as a small kid to have people be there for you.” Bessel Van Der Kolk
This was an extract from the NICABM training that was made public recently
Dr. Buczynski: That’s Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, the world’s foremost expert on treating trauma. And it’s through this neuroscientific lens that he approaches a fear of abandonment.
Now Bessel has been a long-time champion of yoga, tango dancing, and martial arts as a way to help heal a brain that’s been ravaged by trauma.
But there’s one strategy that he finds to be most effective for helping a client neutralize their strongest fears.
Dr. Van der Kolk: I actually do psychodramas. The subject of chapter 18 of my book [The Body Keeps the Score – Chapter 18 is about Pesso Boyden System of Psychotherapy PBSP]. I should do much more of it, because it’s the only thing that I feel really works. And that’s the stuff I learned from Al Pesso, [which] is to actually give people a visceral experience of what it would have been like as a small kid to have people be there for you.
And it’s a theatre of make-believe. You once again feel like a three year old and you choose somebody and say, you have your parents who abandoned you in a room and you say, you were never there for me, you abandoned me, you really identify all the things, how you were hurt, and then you choose somebody to say, “Will you play my ideal mom?” and say, how do you want this person to hold you and that person holds you in a particular way and the person says, “If I had been there when you were three years old, I would have been with you, I would have protected you.” And people actually very deeply feel what it would have been like to have been held like that. It’s absolutely transformative.
Dr. Buczynski: What this strategy does is provide the client with a corrective experience, emotionally, cognitively, and physically. The idea is to help the client install this positive experience. If we can do that, we can help to regroove the brain and break the patterns that have been keeping the client stuck in fear.