Faced with interpersonal trauma, the victim is typically in emergency state, which activate biological systems associated with survival, produce great anxiety, and narrows awareness his/her inner and outer world, for the benefit of survival mechanisms. The memories of trauma, emotions footprints, cognitions and negative feelings, can then be reactivated or relived as flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, painful feelings and other post-traumatic impact. These reactivations may lead to long-lasting states of distress, stress, fear, depression or anger, may hinder the ability for mindfulness to the benefit of experiential avoidance strategies aiming to cut the suffering. Yet, this mechanism may negatively impact psychological, sexual and relational health in the long run.

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).