The integrative power of embedded relational mindfulness for the treatment of trauma

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Paparo, Pierpaolo
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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Embedded Relational Mindfulness (ERM) is a therapeutic map used in sensorimotor psychotherapy that sets guidelines for the use of mindfulness in a therapeutic relationship. While ERM is a general map valid for the use of mindfulness in any therapeutic encounter, this thesis will focus on its application for trauma treatment. The essay grounded ERM’s two driving principles, mindfulness and relationship, within the theoretical framework of polyvagal theory, the triune brain model and interpersonal neurobiology. It concluded that integration, defined as the principle which connects different and specialized parts into a functional whole, seems to be the common important factor for successful therapy. Integration among the reptilian, limbic and prefrontal cortex; integration of the social engagement system, the sympathetic system and the dorsal vagal nerve; integration of mind, brain and relationships; tend to move the client toward mental health. Further research could investigate how to expand integration further. Psychotherapy could be coupled, outside the therapeutic encounter, with more hands-on techniques aimed at improving the physiology of the social engagement system. Another way to expand the integrative work could be a new definition of the body, which could extend the body boundaries beyond the physical limits of the skin. This can allow for theories that can integrate spirituality into the therapeutic process.