Sociometrics: Embodied, Experiential Processes for Healing Trauma and Addiction
Sociometrics is designed to fit easily into the existing programming of an addiction treatment center or group therapy through an experiential process that is both healing and educational. This practice also incorporate the most up-to-date research on trauma, grief and related issues such as depression, anxiety, somatic issues and PTSD.
Trauma represents a loss of connection with the self and can affect ability the to engage in comfortable long-term intimacy. Unresolved trauma often times is the reason why people self-medicate. It is a shutting down of affect, dissociation from the heat of a painful or terrifying moment, a repression of unbearable feelings. Relational trauma happens a little bit at a time. Feeling unseen, misunderstood, neglected or rejected by the people we want most to be loved by is, over time, a traumatizing experience. Our need to be seen is core to valuing ourselves, to experiencing us as vital people, important to those close to us and with the potential to find a meaningful place in the world.
Sociometrics offers layers of healing, many small incremental moments of healing that cumulatively help to peel back the layers of the onion revealing ever deepening and widening aspects of both the self and the self in relation to others. Sociometrics is a therapeutic role-playing practice built upon the foundation of Psychodrama and Sociometry, the pioneering group therapy concepts developed by fin-de-siècle Viennese psychiatrist Jacob Levy Moreno. Psychodrama and Sociometry have been organically embraced in the addictions field as a method of treating this kind of relational trauma. Role-play in a therapeutic environment allows a full range of mind-body emotions and physical motions to be part of the treatment process. Words, rather than being used in some hapless attempt to describe an experience one can barely remember, can come bursting forward into the here and now towards the right person at the right place at the right time.
But the open-ended nature of each can make it difficult to do with safety and containment. Sociometrics solve that problem by creating an experiential process that is both healing and educational. This practice also incorporate the most up-to-date research on trauma, grief and related issues such as depression, anxiety, somatic issues and PTSD. Sociometrics is designed to fit easily into the existing programming of an addiction treatment canter or group therapy. Because they bring trauma issues forward through the stricture of the Floor Check (a series of guided emotional prompts), they remove the necessity for a lecture only approach to healing. Each time a “symptom” is explored for example, there is time for sharing how that symptom might manifest for each client and to hear how that symptom might manifest for others. This creates many “teachable and healable” moments across the room as symptoms come alive through each individual. As clients share they normalize problems and regulate their string emotions through sharing and feeling “held” by others engaged in a similar process.
Resilience is natural built as they stand in the center of their own story. Emotional literacy and relational skills are strengthened and feelings are translated into words and communicated to others.
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