Mind-Body Attunement Therapy ® (MBAT) aims to create emotional well-being by working directly with the physiological elements of relational trauma stored in the nervous system. Interventions access deeply held anger, sadness and fear and gently discharge the energy by generating a sense of calm and being mindful of the sensory changes in the body.
Mind-Body Attunement Therapy is an attachment and trauma focused therapy that combines traditional interpersonal therapies of pioneers such as Freud and Bowlby with current neurobiological approaches influenced by contemporary therapists such as Schore and Levine.
Healthy attachments in childhood become deeply embedded in the neurological architecture of the mind. They give rise to flexibility in emotional processing, social interaction, behavioural choices and cognitive functioning; leading to a healthy personality and sense of self.
THE EFFECT OF TRAUMA
Unhealthy attachments and other traumas stretch the mind’s natural ability to heal beyond its limits. These unresolved traumas damage self-regulating neurological structures, leaving engrained patterns of hypervigilance and dissociation.
These destructive states of mind and unintegrated bodily reflexes support a host of counterproductive coping strategies and eventually exhaust the nervous system. Mind-Body Attunement Therapy is effective in relieving many symptoms which can be physical, emotional, social, behavioural or cognitive.
Physical Symptoms; pain, fibromialgia, irritable bowel syndrome, neurologically mediated paralysis, exhaustion, suppressed immune system, etc.
Emotional Symptoms; anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, depression, anger, shame, etc.
Social Symptoms; conflict, isolation, loneliness, loss, etc.
Behavioural Symptoms; addictions, eating disorders, compulsions, self-harm, etc.
Cognitive Symptoms; obsessive thinking, suicidal ideation, delusions, paranoia, etc.
Mind-Body Attunement Therapy utilizes the processes of our social nature as it replicates the pattern of attunement in a healthy attachment to facilitate the client’s reintegration of mind and body. This process reactivates the natural healing systems that allow the nervous system to heal and grow. As the nervous system resets the state of mind is increasingly based in the circumstances of the present moment thereby allowing a general state of peace and calm, with appropriate appraisal of and reactivity to threat. An attuned mind and body have access to a flexible range of coping strategies which reforms the personality and enhances the sense of self.
Mind-body attunement therapy is a body therapy, which works with the experience of emotion in the body (the “stuck” energy in the nervous system). There are basically two “jobs” that we want to accomplish in therapy to create a healthy nervous system. The first is to resolve unprocessed emotional memories that remain locked in the nervous system. These tend to get activated frequently (you likely know they are activated because you react with a high level of emotion which doesn’t seem to fit the situation you are currently in). So these unprocessed emotional memories tend to negatively impact our emotions, behaviours, and thoughts. The second “job” we want to accomplish is to teach your nervous system to return to calm quickly once it has been activated. Research shows that when we are exposed to ordinary everyday stressors, it takes approximately 2 to 3 minutes to return to a sense of calm. Some individuals take significantly longer than that, with activated responses lasting from several hours to several days. Using mind-body attunement therapy, the focus is on resolving unprocessed emotions and teaching the nervous system to calm quickly. Thus, MBAT assists individuals to work through over-whelming experiences without causing them to be re-traumatized.
Miller, K. (2012). Mind-body attunement therapy: Clinical Strategies