Faced with interpersonal trauma, the individual typically finds himself in a state of emergency, with an activation of the biological systems associated with survival, great anxiety, and a shrinking of his capacity for attentive presence to his inner and outer worlds, for the benefit of survival mechanisms. The mnemonic traces of trauma, imprinted with negative emotions, cognitions, and sensations, can then be reactivated or relived as flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, painful feelings, and other post-traumatic consequences. These reactivations often lead to long-lasting states of distress, stress, fear, depression or anger, which can hinder mindful presence abilities in favor of experiential avoidance strategies aiming to cut the suffering. In this situation, attentive presence can be an effective intervention target in order to improve their psychological, sexual, and relational health.

For more information:

Briere, J., Hodges, M., & Godbout, N. (2010). Traumatic stress, affect dysregulation, and dysfunctional avoidance: A structural equation model. Journal of traumatic Stress, 23, 767-774. doi: 10.1002/jts.20578

Godbout, N., Bigras, N., & Dion, J. (2016). Présence attentive et traumas interpersonnels subis durant l’enfance. Dans  S. Grégoire, L. Lachance et L. Richer (Éds.). La présence attentive (Mindfulness): État des connaissances théoriques, empiriques et pratiques (pp. 229-246). Québec, Qc : Presses de l’Université du Québec (PUQ).