Neurotic Holding Patterns / Primal Trauma

Links To Trauma Information (read this whole series, then read it again)

(Chris is one of my (April Prescotts) instructors at Mindful Schools. Mindfulness and trauma therapy are crossing over more and more now.)

Take this free course online

Trauma sensitive schools (this info can be morphed to fit anything. Trauma sensitive teams/workplaces/businesses…)
Read this paper re: trauma in the body
NICABM lots of resources here as well as online courses
I took my training through the Child Trauma Academy (link above). Most training on trauma is accessed through a psychology or social work department here in Canada. As we learn more about trauma there are more opportunities to study or train in it, just start looking. But there are lots of options online to get you started.
Read all the books by Dr. Bruce Perry, Peter Levine, and Stephen Porges. That’s it. They are the echelon and they know their shit. From research to anecdotal to places to start when it comes to treatment, you will find it in their work.

Elliott Hulse calls them Neurotic Holding Patterns.

“I believe all human being harbor primal trauma. The moment of birth is the first initiation – the agony of separation.The first time in which we experience fragmentation from being in a kind of cosmic merger with a divine being – a goddess – our mother – to all of a sudden trembling naked before the cosmos and I think that primal trauma – that initial separation leaves us all with a intermittent PTSD. I think we carry the scars from birth [I would add from and from infancy, childhood and adolescence] and that these fears and traumas resurface at pivotal periods of our lives. I think a lot of the patterns in our romantic life in particular reflect this primal trauma and fear of abandonment. What’s really interesting is that we spend our lives perpetually reenacting these traumatic experiences without ever realizing where they stem from in order to address them and potentially heal them. It’s why we make such a failure of our romantic undertakings and why most people lead lives of quiet desperation – I think the fear of loneliness. I think the cosmic fear of abandonment is polluting our romantic lives in ways that we don’t often address. So the question becomes is there a solution? Is there a kind of journey of transformation – our own version of the ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ undertaking where we learn to become whole on our own so that meeting somebody else becomes an additive, a supplement, rather than a filling of a vacuum.”


Book: The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships (Childhood trauma)

Comment: “Moral of the story: Do NOT have children until YOU are a FULLY capable and physically, emotionally & spiritually sound ADULT who isn’t going to let your own unresolved issues negatively impact and effect the lives of your own offspring. Parenting is EVERYTHING, it is absolutely CRITICAL. Most children who develop issues and mental instability that plagues them into adulthood have intense feelings of angst, envy and hatred in some way towards their parents and other caregiver”

What if you’re taking actions to this day, based on emotional wounds you received as a child?

Let me give a few examples.

Have you ever been in a fight with your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife, and gotten into a HUGE fight. The type of fight where you’re pissed off and angry for the rest of the day. It sucks, right? Well, here’s the thing.

What if only 10% of your anger has anything to do with the fight. What if the other 90% of your anger is repressed emotion coming to the surface?

In other words, when you get deeply triggered and strong negative emotions are flowing through your body, 90% of that emotion is just repressed emotion from our past coming up. 90% of your upset has NOTHING to do with whatever you think you’re upset about. So if you’re fighting or getting triggered a lot in your relationship, maybe you don’t need counseling. Maybe you need to heal those emotional wounds and get that repressed emotion out of your body!

Here’s another example to explain this deeper. When we’re children, we’re told in subtle ways that our emotions are “wrong”. When we’re toddlers and we get angry and throw a temper tantrum, our parents scold us and tell us to be quiet… So we repress all of that anger. When we’re of school age and we begin to cry we’re told to stop. Especially for men. Our father’s tell us stories like “crying is for little girls”… And so we repress our tears and sadness. When we’re happy, excited, and laughing our asses off as kids, we get told not to be so loud. To act respectable and stop laughing so loud in public. We get told to calm down… and so we repress our laughter and happiness.

In each of these situations we repress our emotions. We use our muscular system to do this. We hold back our tears by clenching our jaw, biting our lips and tightening the muscles in our neck. We hold back our anger by squeezing our hands, arms and chest. We hold back our sadness by tightening our bellies, chest and neck. As we use our muscular system to hold back our emotions – to keep them trapped inside – we develop what is called “muscular armoring”.

Muscular armoring is the physical manifestation of repressed emotion. And it’s built up in our bodies since we were young.

We cannot keep this emotion trapped in our bodies. If we do, we’ll be depressed. We’ll be unhappy. We’ll be frustrated.

We can never be the strongest version of ourselves until we let go of these negative emotions.

In biblical times, they’d talk about how you need to get the demons out of you. This is no different. Your repressed negative emotions are your demons. It’s time for this cycle to end.

Elliott Hulse

In Utero Trauma

What was happening while the child was being held in the womb as the mother was experiencing particular traumas and the baby

Bruce Lipton explains this through epigenetics (changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself).

Jordan B Peterson

Building self esteem.

“There’s this developmental psychologist named Jerome Kagan. He studied temperamentally inhibited children (kids high in neurotocism and probably low in extroversion) and he found that if those children (as early as 6 months) were encouraged into the world you can shift them into a more stable personality configuration. When they weer manifesting signs of distress instead of encouraging them to withdraw and retreat which is what they might be attempting to do, you can encourage them to go out and explore. E.G. If you have a temperamentally inhibited child and you got o a playground and there’s kids out there – if you have an extroverted emotionally stable kid (3 years old) as you put them on the ground they run to the kids to play. But if you have a temperamentally inhibited child the child will sort of stand around at you’re legs and sort of peak out. And then what you do is wait it out, let them watch, encourage them to slowly move forward and take their steps out into the unknown and strange land. They’ll slowly warm up and habituate. If you continually expose you’re inhibited child to the things that make them anxious in measured doses than you can transform their psycho-physiological temperament” (Source) – There has been 20 years of study in Attachment Theory, showing how our early attachment style is formed from our bonding style with our parents, and we show how that style echoes in all of our subsequent adult relationships – and how to change those old patterns. Also research Dr. Gabor Mate’, a Canadian physician who speaks about early childhood trauma and how that stress causes all kinds of physical and psychological diseases. www, The Kaiser/CDC study of Adverse Childhood Experiences is available at

Automatic negative thoughts

“ANTs don’t just pop up out of nowhere from one occurrence. They’re delivered to you from your subconscious mind. The subconscious contains the thoughts, memories and ideas that have been repeated so often, or are so emotionally charged (or both) that they stick with you until or unless they’re removed. These can be either positive (your parents telling you you’re the Greatest Child Ever, for example) or negative (an abusive parent who you never felt good enough for). Once these ideas and thoughts are let into the subconscious, they leak out into your life in ways you may not even notice. Trust issues, insecurity, high sensitivity, and lack of self-worth are just a few ANT symptoms. The real challenge with ANTs, or anything else in the subconscious mind, is that most people never become aware that it even exists. Undoing this mental conditioning will not happen overnight.”