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During traumatic events the dependable ground becomes disrupted, or in cases of severe trauma, destroyed and the foreground becomes preeminent. Regardless of circumstance feelings of confusion, disassociation, anxiety and fear abound as the relationship between foreground/background occupies a shifting field.
In most cases psychotherapists and trauma specialists tend to focus on the traumatic event itself without taking sufficient account of trauma as an event within the field.
Another way of working with trauma, particularly where the client cannot or has difficulty accessing the event is to focus on the sensory relationship of the traumatic environment. In this way clients can access color, texture, taste, smells, sounds of the event before, during and after the event itself.
In addition, clients who have a closer relationship to rebuilding the ground through their sensory experience can create a secure environment step by step as an integrated experience between themselves and the environment they are contacting.
This presentation will weave the shared experiences of low level traumatic events of participants into a didactic presentation and discussion of the topic.
Lee Zevy is a Fellow of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy and has twice served as President. She has studied the effects and healing of trauma since she began her psychotherapy practice in the 1970’s. This new work on the Environment of Trauma came out of her personal experience with a fire in her apartment just prior to and included her experience of 9/11. In her current life she writes, teaches, supervises and presents in many venues.