The Body Keeps the Score: SAFETY AND RECIPROCITY


A few years ago I heard Jerome Kagan, a distinguished emeritus professor of child psychology at Harvard, say to the Dalai Lama that for every act of cruelty in this world there are hundreds of small acts of kindness and connection.
His conclusion: “To be benevolent rather than malevolent is probably a true feature of our species.”
Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.
Numerous studies of disaster response around the globe have shown that social support is the most powerful protection against becoming overwhelmed by stress and trauma.
Social support is not the same as merely being in the presence of others.
The critical issue is reciprocity: being truly heard and seen by the people around us, feeling that we are held in someone else’s mind and heart.
For our physiology to calm down, heal, and grow we need a visceral feeling of safety.
No doctor can write a prescription for friendship and love:
These are complex and hard-earned capacities.
You don’t need a history of trauma to feel self-conscious and even panicked at a party with strangers—but trauma can turn the whole world into a gathering of aliens.
Many traumatized people find themselves chronically out of sync with the people around them.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by chickenlittle2017 on September 16, 2017 at 3:36 pm


    One of the fundamental human needs.


  2. Posted by Jennifertem on September 16, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs and You

    *Self Actualization

  3. Have to look up self actualuzation

  4. Posted by Jennifertem on September 16, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Yeah, me too.
    “Achieving one’s full potential including creative activities”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: