Brain @ Work
The i-brainmap (integrated brain map) was originally developed as a therapeutic psycho-educational tool for clients with symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress. It was originally called the Integrated Trauma Map. Increasingly the i-brain map is used for clients with other issues, including anxiety and stress.
The i-brainmap gives clients with an understanding of their experience of traumatic and overwhelming events and how and why these events can impact on brain functioning. Providing people with the i-brainmap begins to normalise the client’s symptoms and experience and reduce any associated feelings of failure and shame. It also provides a whole brain map of what is happening during lower brain activation and identifies more effective ways to respond that catalyse integration and brain change.
The i-brainmap can be used to provide a general understanding of brain function when lower brain activation is involved or when a client feels stuck, SoS brain. When talking therapies have been tried with limited success this is a useful approach.
The i-brainmap model doesn’t require indepth discussion of their history, details of any abuse, or their story, but works with current symptoms and experience described by the client. It works with the brain’s innate capacity to integrate and change itself, through a bottom up approach.
The i-brainmap was inspired by numerous researchers and clinicians including Peter Levine, Bessel van der Kolk, Babette Rothschild, Dan Siegel, Antonio Damasio and draws on the earlier work of John Briere (the self trauma model). It works with the principle that the brain is to continually trying to integrate any unintegrated or fragmented memory. The i-brain map teaches the client why this happens so that activation is recognised as an opportunity to integrate, with the appropriated techniques for managing hyper-arousal established.
This model identifies exposure, or whatever triggers these fragmented trauma memories, as a complex matrix of sensory information, environment, body reactions, emotions, thinking patterns and behaviours and invites the person to begin to recognise these reactions while providing mindfulness based strategies to manage the reactions. The research and evidence that underpin the i-brain map highlight the importance of working directly with the body experience as part of the change process.
The i-brainmap approach also identifies several stages to the integration process and outlines the most appropriate therapeutic approaches and techniques at each stage.
Later stages of integration invite clients to recognise and describe the direct dynamic body experience, in a secure environment or therapeutic relationship with strategies to assist them to translate the experience into their everyday. This interactive process engages specific parts of the brain that are typically affected by traumatic events (such as the dorsal medial prefronal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, and temporal poles) so that emotions can be mediated, regulated and finally integrated.
Training, supervision and consultation on the i-brain map are available on request. Please contact us for details.
One day training is available for practitioners, educators, and organisations including; human services, educators, emergency services, forensic, community, agencies working with victim-survivors of trauma, on request.