Trauma Research

Are You Ready For Post Traumatic Growth?

Are you feeling stuck, bored, anxious, or frustrated?
Have you ever felt that:

  • You are on your own, alone and abandoned?
  • There is something wrong with you, but you don’t know what?
  • You don’t belong, no matter how hard you try to fit in?
  • There is no one who understands you, no one you can  trust?

Yes, that is how Ian used to feel – 'Strangely odd, yet oddly normal!'

I was brought up ‘nicely’ as they say. Fed, clothed, educated. Not hit or abused in any way. Supported and encouraged as I learned and grew. Yet I felt as if I was living in a glass cage, an invisible wall between me and everyone else, a movie set that could be dismantled at any moment.

'Strangely odd, yet oddly normal!' and no amount of reaching out seemed to help.

Now I no longer feel that way – now I feel whole, complete, fulfilled, enjoying life, succeeding even as I write this web site to share with you my journey and what I have learned along the way.

Yes, some days, some moments, bring me challenges, but mostly I am resilient and fully engaged with my life’s adventure.

Much to my surprise, some people even say that I have a soothing and very calming presence. The ugly duckling seems to have transformed into a beautiful swan!

And to continue with the nursery story theme, even although all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again, he did it all by himself, with a little bit of help from some friends.

So this web site is personal, it’s about my self-learning journey. And the tools I have used are offered to you, for you to explore as you sit inside of your own unique version of that invisible glass cage.

My search for meaning and inner peace began early – by the time I was 10 or 11 years old I was enjoying learning about nature, and became fascinated by biochemistry. I was 13 when Watson and Crick discovered the DNA double helix, and I remember watching BBC1 TV on a tiny black and white set as Raymond Baxter walked around inside a huge Perspex model of the cell explaining how the nucleus and DNA worked. That was enthralling.

This was what life was about! In high school I specialized in sciences – biology, chemistry, physics, and I remember reading with delight Dynamic Aspects of Biochemistry (fourth edition) by Ernest Baldwin.

I was fortunate enough to gain scholarships that supported me as I went to University and earned first a Bachelor’s and then a Ph.D. in Biochemistry. Yet the knowledge that I mastered did not help me master my self – my scientific studies had strengthened the walls of my glass prison, rather than removing them, and soon after I graduated I actually had a total mental collapse, what they call a ‘nervous breakdown.’

However, even though I lost my sense of identity, I was a researcher, and I have remained a researcher, and during the 45 years that have elapsed since that plunge into the abyss, I have self-learned and self-healed, and am ready to share my story about the tools that have worked for me.

I avoided dealing with the established medical and therapeutic community. I instinctively knew that they would not help, and even in my worst moments, I consulted with no one, and did my own learning and healing by myself.

That is one of the key messages – be a leader in your own life, do your own learning and healing work. It has the added benefit that the fees are affordable – close to zero most of the time!

Year by year, throughout that long journey, things got better and better. I got a job, I got married, I got divorced, I re-married, became a father, got ill, got better, bought a house, sold the house, moved from one city to another – all the usual things. Yet all the time I was working on that glass cage, trying to find out what made me feel strangely strange, yet oddly normal.

Yes, things got better and better, answers here, answers there, but the last piece of the puzzle was somehow missing – until, in 2015 I read a book by Bessel Van Der Kolk – The Body Keeps The Score – about developmental trauma, what it looks like, why it happens, and how to heal it.

Reading the book helped me to realize that I had been experiencing a mild form of developmental trauma. After all, I was not abused and I was brought up nicely, but even so, for one reason or another, my social engagement system was dysfunctional, and that little boy built a glass cage to manage his sense of shame and isolation.

I still have a little bit further to go on my journey – we all do, don’t we? – and creating this web site is a healthy challenge for me. My wish is that you find some of the tools and content here inspiring and helpful.

Along the way, I developed my own unique set of resources that I use myself and also offer to others. The tools are designed to help people navigate on their journey, and they are called “The Fifth Way” which is a Path of Inquiry. And then there is The Grid, which is an interface that can help you develop greater Capacity for Self-Learning.

And there are other tools, not just my own, and I share as many of them as I can so that you have choices, and can discover which ones are pleasing to you.

Enough about me, what about you?

Would you like to experience Post Traumatic Growth?

Are you ready to learn something new?

This is not like learning to ride a new bicycle, when you already have mastered the art. It’s like learning to drive a car, or maybe even fly a plane – a totally new experience that may feel strange and uncomfortable and very challenging at first.

Stick with it.

Not same old same old learning, but new learning, really new learning.

In fact it is time to learn how to learn in a way that is transforming and inspiring.

How about learning about SELF learning and SELF healing?

How about learning to be resilient?

These are new sorts of learning that you probably haven’t come across before.

You can harness the resources that we share with you now to release problems from the past, free yourself up to fulfill your destiny and create a positive future for yourself.

You need new learning resources, tools that increase your capacity to learn.

Instead of doing things to achieve results (creating finite endings, winners and losers) motivate yourself by doing things in order to learn (creating infinite emergence, always growing and succeeding.)

As well as seeking informational learning (new knowledge) you can embrace transformational learning (new identity.)

Developmental trauma happens when you are very young – often before you can walk or talk, sometimes while you are in the womb, or even from pre-personal and ancestral times. So you need methods that access information held at pre-verbal stages of development. Talk therapy isn’t much help here!

Metaphor is the first language infants learn. Somatic Metaphor Inquiry, one of six methods developed by David Grove, is a key tool that helped my own healing journey, because it works with pre-verbal information.

And before we begin to finish this introduction, let me talk about the establishment, the conventional and traditional ways that society goes about its business. Without these conventional norms our society would not exist. But these norms also help to create the walls of the glass cage that we are seeking to break out of.

And so, in order to innovate, and get out of your cage, you have to be prepared to bypass conventional wisdom and follow your own bliss. Average people and average society, the authority figures around you, they are not enemies to be attacked. Just avoid engaging them, find your own path through the minefield, find the way that is safe for you.

Based on over 30 years of high-quality peer reviewed medical research, Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk and his professional colleagues proposed a new diagnostic category – Developmental Trauma Disorder – for the DSM V. What happened? The regulatory authorities did not question the proposal, they did not even reply to it, and absolutely they did not include it in the revised diagnostic manual.

This is the mainstream professional medical community denying the existence of the new reality and challenging innovation by ignoring it.

And this is what you, and like-minded professionals who do understand developmental trauma, have to deal with as you get on with your learning and healing journey.

Not enemies to be attacked, just mines to be avoided!

I would like to share with you a story about the Intra Ocular Lens Operation (IOL) used for healing cataracts.

Sir Harold Ridley, a distinguished British ophthalmologist, invented and refined the modern miracle of replacing lenses obscured by cataracts with plastic optical lenses, thus rendering a complete cataract cure. This operation  has since brought sight to many millions of people throughout the world, and continues to improve the quality of life of more than 10 million patients worldwide each year.

The IOL brought immediate, obvious and dramatic improvement in peoples lives when it was first developed in the 1940s and 50s. Yet when it was introduced,  and despite Dr. Ridley's high professional standing, it was firmly rejected by the medical establishment and regulatory authorities.

The opposition was so intense that Dr. Ridley became ill and depressed, and suffered greatly. Fortunately, in the end his great contribution was recognized, and he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II before he died.

The story about Sir Harold Ridley is quite long, and you may not read it all, but my point is that, just as with the IOL, 30 years from now, millions of people will be benefiting from the current innovations in our understanding of trauma.

Many of the tools, articles and resources that you can read about here may be considered to be outside of the mainstream, perhaps not well known. Instead of dismissing them, consider that this might recommend them, and check them out for yourself.

To begin finding out more about Developmental Trauma, what it is, how it is caused, and how to heal it, become a member of our group, a place where you can feel understood, find safety and experience authentic belonging.

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