Intense Emotions: When Present Events Trigger Past Trauma

If you’ve ever experienced a trigger in the present that included noticeable body sensations, this post is for you.  There’s a lot going on in our nervous systems when we experience a trigger connected to past trauma.

Apologies for the mic static on this particular video. The content is excellent, so the video was posted despite the sound issue.


What the video above covers:
  • Anxiety
  • Being triggered by intense emotions
    • reactionary moments to intense emotions
  • Energetic emotional charge connected to and related to things that have happened in the past — most of the time in our childhood; often trauma-related.
  • Several components of trauma when we hurt ourselves physically (i.e. fall off of a bike)
    • physiologically
    • emotionally
    • memories of past trauma and somatics: the issues are in the tissues (trauma store in the body)
  • There is “cause” for why we get triggered today and why we have an intense reaction
    • It never happens without cause
  • TRE: Trauma release exercises: discharging trauma stored in the body through shaking it out with a trained practitioner.
  • Calming the nervous system to feel more ease physically and emotionally
    • Just describe body sensations rather than giving them a story
4 replies
  1. Sarah Brownell
    Sarah Brownell says:

    I watched the video and really resonated with it. It took me many years to figure out that the intense physical pain I experience 24/7 (and have for 12 years now) happened because my husband triggered me. He didn’t know it (still doesn’t get it) his intentions were good, but he pushed me over the edge of a tall precipice and my body reacted with intractable pain. So I researched TRE and found it very interesting. I downloaded Dr. Bercelli’s book on Audible to get myself started, and did research on certified TRE providers. There is someone 3 hrs from me. I will talk to my SET therapist about this and see what she thinks. It seems like you are doing both these therapies? I am so utterly exhausted from this pain, I always think I’ve reached my breaking point and then a little DBT nugget reaches me and I hang on another day. Please tell me if I should be emailing you or if the comments I’m making on this blog are okay. Have a good weekend.

    • Healing From BPD
      Healing From BPD says:

      Hi Sarah! Thank you for watching and reading, and your comment here is fine. I know someone that I’ve worked with who offers TRE sessions over Skype (or something similar). She may need to have an initial first session with you in person, and she’s in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m not sure though. Reach out privately via email or your student portal if you want her contact info.

  2. Sarah Brownell
    Sarah Brownell says:

    I was sure I posted a comment here last night – but it has vanished. I enjoyed this blog entry so much that I was motivated to do research on TRE. I purchased the audio book version of David Bercelli’s book and in 48 hours I am almost finished with the first “read”! I find it fascinating and moving and can’t wait to learn more. Combining this w/SET may be something I’ll consider after more research. Oh how I love to keep learning!!! Thanks Debbie.

    • Healing From BPD
      Healing From BPD says:

      Hi Sarah! It didn’t vanish — comments are moderated and I approve in batches here and there but not every day. Your other comment is now live as well. 🙂 So glad you found this helpful!


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