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The Hijacked Self: Toward Feeling Alive Without Threat
Traumatized individuals often feel compelled to repeat the past through traumatic re-enactments or by engaging in reckless behaviors, as these are a few of the ways they are able to “feel alive.” It is well known that individuals with PTSD – particularly when associated with developmental trauma – often report a sense of self that does not exist entirely, illustrated eloquently through statements, such as, “I do not know who I am,” or, “I feel like I have stopped existing.”
Research suggests that these experiences may relate, in part, to the reduced functional connectivity of the default mode network, a brain network critical to the experience of a sense of self, observed during rest among individuals with PTSD. Critically, however, enhanced default mode network connectivity has recently been observed when individuals with PTSD are triggered by reminders of their trauma. This suggests the sense of self may “come alive” under conditions of threat and terror. It is therefore possible that some individuals with PTSD may seek situations involving threat or terror in order to experience a sense of self and a related sense of agency, which may be lacking in the absence of extreme hyperarousal states.
In this webinar, Dr. Ruth Lanius will discuss how we can work clinically to help traumatized individuals “feel alive” without engaging in traumatic re-enactments or reckless behavior.
Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the sense of self in the aftermath of trauma.
2. Explain how the brain experiences sense of self when under threat.
3. Review implications for traumatic reenactments and treatment.

Apr 18, 2023 11:00 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Registration fee $15.00USD
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