Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Alienation from Self: part one

Vincent Van Gogh

How We Survive Overwhelming Experience, sets the stage by describing dissociative splitting and fragmentation as an adaptive response to abnormal experience.



To create distance from overwhelming events and preserve a sense of “a good me,” individuals must disown the self-states of which they are ashamed, intimidated, or experience as “not-me,” allowing them to also disown the trauma (Bromberg, 2011).



The ability to encode two parallel sets of experiences in one brain and body is supported by the “split-brain research” in the 1970s and 1980s (Gazzaniga, 1985) and by the neuroscience brain scan research in the late 1990s and 2000s demonstrating how traumatic events come to be encoded as implicit emotional and physical states, rather than being encoded in the form of chronological narrative.
My Two cents: The new therapies address trauma by looking at the different parts of us and which hemisphere the parts originate from.


Some of our behavior are an adaptive response to survive.


We need to learn to discount these traumatized parts as a response, not who we are.


That confusing fight happening internally can be explained and integrated with daily work.


We need not fix our old trauma, but make healthy new experiences to replace the old.


It comes down to awareness, then acceptance without judgment to move forward.

4 responses to this post.

  1. As I’ve been really struggling lately, it is good to know I’m not alone.

  2. Posted by Vic Hariton on January 19, 2019 at 6:42 am

    This seems to resonate for me best right now: “We need not fix our old trauma, but make healthy new experiences to replace the old.”

    Trying to do good things for our world, getting appreciated for them, helps a lot for me.

  3. Gratitude and giving are part of a happy life

  4. i’m glad we’re not
    alone even though
    it can seem that way 🙂

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