108: Trauma Recovery: Somatics, Attunement, and Mindfulness with Robert Cox

“As human beings, we are meant for connection.” I see you. I believe you. Sometimes, those are the exact words that survivors of sexual assault and violence need to hear. Genuinely affirming a survivor’s experiences, feelings, and responses are the first steps to entering into a space that the survivor has never let anyone else into before. Oftentimes, those who experience trauma seem to have lost touch. Sometimes they appear checked out, forget to eat, and even lose their spatial awareness. On the other end of the spectrum, some survivors become hypervigilant and notice everything: the way someone holds himself when he walks into a room, small changes in expression or energy, and anything else. In this episode, Robert Cox talks about this subject. He provides insight into the various responses that survivors have to their environment and new relationships. Robert discusses the importance of sitting in that vulnerable space with a survivor, listening to them, and helping them rewire their brains back to a healthy state. Take a listen to learn more about how Robert Cox uses somatic exercises and active listening skills to help trauma survivors begin living once again. About Robert Cox, LPC: Robert Cox is a licensed professional counselor in Missouri and owner of Life Recovery Counseling. He specializes in trauma, addictions, and autism. He works extensively with survivors of sexual abuse, trafficking, and childhood trauma. One of his main focuses, too, is mindfulness training to help patients create their own pathways to emotionally regulate through the difficult processes of trauma recovery. Some Questions I Ask: • How did you start working in the area of sexual abuse, trauma, and trafficking? (2:07) • What are we talking about when it comes to sexual assault and violence? (3:55) • How does someone begin to heal broken connections in their brain caused by trauma? What’s the process? (8:12) • What impact does previous trauma have on those close to the survivor? (14:14) • What is a trauma bond? (20:33) • How can someone help a loved one who’s survived sexual abuse and violence? (23:57) In This Episode, You Will Learn: • Why Robert enjoys sitting with someone in a broken space. (2:22) • Why trauma causes lasting damage and what it sometimes looks like. (4:00) • How Robert’s own trauma has helped him become a good therapist. (5:34) • About the difference between hypervigilant and hypovigilant as a result of trauma. (7:45) • How mindfulness can heal connections within the brain. (8:22) • Why self-care and somatic practices are essential to healing from trauma. (12:30) • About the process of attunement and mindfulness can help with coregulation and enhance relationships between couples. (16:14) Resources: Life Recovery Consulting Website Mindful Recovery Podcast The Life Recovery Method: Autism Treatment From A Trauma Perspective by Robert Cox