Trauma is a body reaction

The amygdala tells the body to

  • search for safety
  • flight or fight
  • freeze or collapse


  • Blood to arms and legs
  • Talkcenter cut off
  • Pupils enlarged
  • Shallow breath
  • Sharpened senses
  • Feelings turned off


If in freeze or collapse:

  • pale skin
  • vacant look
  • no idea of time or place
  • high activity in the body – that is not used


In freeze or collapse – when traumatized – the person needs someone that is

  • calm
  • present
  • protecting
  • communicates that is is over
  • uses a calm voice
  • not talks a lot
  • stays


If this person comes the trauma energy will leave the body, in small shakings. The person might feel like wanting to move the body and use the energy that was stuck. Rhythmical movements can help – but as much as possible let the body do the work itself.


The triune brain (Paul McLean in the 60s):


The trauma reaction is the same as the


shame reaction



Trauma is the opposite to





which leads to a loss of hope.

Ulrika Ernvik