Trauma and the Brain

The Brain

It may seem like common knowledge, but it’s important to recognize that our brains are the central area of processing everything that is happening in the world around us. And, in turn, it’s the brain that responds to those factors in our environment. We take in what we see, hear, feel, smell, and taste and create reactions then memories from this information

There are four areas of importance:

  • The Nerves
    • The nerves carry information to the brain and then back out, telling you how to adjust to the input it gets. So, for example, you may realize that the chair is uncomfortable and adapt your seating without thinking much.
  • The Amygdala
    • Information comes into the brain through the amygdala. In most cases, the sensation immediately passes through to be processed, but sometimes this part of your brain steps in and makes decisions before you’ve even had a chance to sort out what you’re sensing.
  • The Prefrontal Cortex
    • This area is where we can process the information we are taking in. Nerve fibers pass data here from the amygdala, allowing us to connect that information to past events and create new memories.
  • The Hippocampus
    • This section is the area of the brain that stores our memories. Luckily, memory isn’t stored here like it is in a computer. Instead, our memory is malleable and constantly reshaped based on new information. This process is called neuroplasticity.
  • Trauma creates memories that tell our system to protect itself. But if we recognize this process we can use it to recode the memory and put our lives back on track.