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Crisis Psychologist: How to Return a Basic Feeling of Security


A very extensive and deep topic, I want to fit in a short post about an internal sense of security. This topic has been studied by psychologists for many years, and real results have been achieved in this area. Of course, this is more theoretical material, but working with it in practice, you get wonderful results)

Basic sense of security consists in the fact that a person can feel safe at home, in society, in communication with friends. At the level of inner experience - this is peace, reliability, inner confidence, goodwill and trust, which can be transmitted to the outside world (By the way, whoever doesn’t, this state often speaks of the desired stability: at work, retired, in the country, etc. .) This illusory stability can be sought all life in the outside world, but never found, because these fears and anxieties are inside and deep enough.

The roots of these problems often lead to time before birth. Neuropsychology finds scientific evidence that everything that happens in the uterus and in very early childhood creates channels for our thoughts, for our feelings in relation to ourselves, to the world and our place in the world. All this is captured at the level of bodily sensations, at the level of the right hemisphere of the brain. Access to these channels and experiences is usually deeply hidden.

It is usually believed that the baby in the uterus is good, warm, comfortable. And that then a person strives all his life to reproduce this feeling of safety and comfort. But the reality is different.

How does the feeling of insecurity begin to form?

At the very beginning, while in the womb, we bathe in its electromagnetic field. The field contains a stream of information about the world, about mother, about us, about the planet through the prism of a woman who carries a child in herself. The brain of a child, and especially the heart, are formed under the influence of this field. Electroencephalograms and electromagnetograms show that the fields of two creatures - the mother and the fetus - are fully synchronized. And the fact that the mother feels in relation to the child whether this child is desired, beloved, is transmitted to the developing fetus through changes in the electromagnetic field. These changes carry encoded information that the child’s field can easily decode, just like a radio can easily decode radio waves.

In addition, a huge stream of maternal hormones enters the baby’s blood. And the information that these hormones carry is so valuable for survival. Under the influence of the maternal field, the subsequent rhythm of the endocrine glands is set. Neural networks are formed, configured either strictly for survival, or for survival, and for prosperity. The hemispheres of the brain begin to work either flexibly (synchronously – asynchronously), or are rigidly fixed in one operating mode.

Mom may be in a state of severe stress, have shock traumas in her story that forever changed her hormonal background. Viruses and bacteria, a large number of drugs or a tactless attitude of doctors, health problems or tragic and dangerous events for life (For example, a husband beat him, the death of a loved one, moving is also a stressful event).

At the same time, the baby has a hard time. Already in the second trimester of pregnancy, its neural networks are sufficiently developed to receive a danger signal. Electromagnetic, hormonal. The kid is trying to hide. The baby’s house - the womb from which one cannot escape - becomes dangerous. The kid shrinks, turns away. He or she is very difficult, scared for his life. His glands also begin to work in stress mode. This is where the first record of insecurity in the body and psyche takes place, and if this happens all the time, a chronic sense of danger is formed.

The basic sense of security begins to form in the prenatal period, in the second trimester of pregnancy, at this time the internal organs are still taking shape, and the brain is developing rapidly. At the beginning of the third month of pregnancy, the head size is half the height! If the mother experienced severe stress at this time, the person is prone to intense intellectual activity, often quite fantasy. Unrealistic projects, difficulties in sexual and sensual life in general, since there is no way to feel feelings. It is difficult to come into contact with reality, with the skin, because the first moments of such contact were painted with intense fear.

From birth, such a man has the impression of being useless, unwanted, even if the mother wanted and loves the child. He seems to have no place on the planet. Such people find it difficult to find a home. Often your own home appears only as a result of deep therapy. Somewhere inside, there is an unconscious feeling that home means danger. And there is a desire to run, to leave, not to get caught anywhere. Suicidal tendencies are often also rooted in this period of life.

Although difficult pregnancy and childbirth could create a barrier between the baby and the mother, in reality the opposite is true. It is difficult for a person who has survived an injury in the antenatal period to tear himself away from his mother when it is time to grow up. As if you need to get something: calm, self-confidence, balance in the nervous system. Internal panic, insecurity that there is a place for him in the world, increased mentality, a sense of danger and anxiety sometimes make an independent life impossible.

So what to do?

Since trauma occurs when the baby is not yet talking and the cerebral cortex is not fully turned on, the possibilities of traditional therapy are limited. Body-oriented psychotherapy comes to the rescue.

You can work with prenatal problems, you can get excellent results. The world for such people becomes friendlier, stress becomes surmountable, emotions cease to be destructive, and projects become realistic.

We take another hit and start living on.

The tragedy in Kemerovo did not leave anyone indifferent in the scale of the disaster, and because many children died there. The death of children is always very emotionally knocking out. When I worked on emergencies in the Ministry of Emergencies, the most difficult trips were associated with the death of children. No matter how experienced employees work there, I mean not only psychologists, but also representatives of various services, but dead children are emotionally difficult for everyone.

In addition, the tragedy occurred in a shopping center. It would seem that it could be safer than taking the child to watch cartoons, and go shopping at that time yourself?

The loss of a basic sense of security is very acutely perceived by all, because in our notorious pyramid of needs this lies precisely at the core. Safety is urgently needed for humans along with sleep and food. And when we lose our sense of security, we are very quickly destroyed. When a person closes the doors of his own house, he does not have to think every time: “I can not return to this house, I’m leaving for some dangerous world and letting my children go there.” It is impossible to live with this feeling, so now there are such strong emotional reactions.

But people are much stronger and more stable than it sometimes seems. Mankind has existed for so many centuries and has survived so much that, no matter what catastrophes occur, sooner or later the ground under your feet is felt again.

I recall the attacks in the Moscow metro - it happened on Holy Week, and also, as now, the alarm then stirred up people very much. Emergency Ministry hotline in those days simply collapsed from the number of calls. The flurry of calls is connected precisely with fears, with panic: “I am now very afraid to go down the subway and I won’t let the children go there. And in general, how now to live? ”It was a month and a half and a half, by the end of two it began to decrease. The first week, I remember exactly, the number of people in the subway fell sharply, no matter what station you went to, there were a lot of empty seats everywhere. But then everything again became as before.

It cannot be otherwise, otherwise how would we even live? This is not what we get used to it - we are experiencing another blow that we receive from the world and from life, we somehow process it, accept it all, rebuild ourselves, adjust and start living on. Maybe we become a little more careful, a little more alert.

Larisa Pyzhyanova. Photo: Yefim Erichman

“Let's do something” - for whom?

What is happening now in connection with the fire in Kemerovo, like everything else in life, has two sides. Of course, people provide tremendous emotional and social support to those in need. On the other hand, any over-emotional reaction has the effect of infection, as happens in a crowd - if someone starts to scream or run alone, then everyone starts to scream and run.

These first, very strong emotional outbursts of people are a natural human reaction to tragedy. This is how human indifference manifests itself and the need of people not only to empathize and grieve together, but also to be active. This active experience can be expressed in the appeal: "Let us do something so that there is no such thing anymore." Therefore, the state of people who go to rallies, transfer money, strongly resent social networks, and demand something is understandable.

Those who are actively and sometimes aggressively leading “support” in social networks should step back a step, look at the situation from the outside and honestly answer:

“Who am I doing this for? For those people and relatives whose loved ones died, or am I trying so hard to cope with my own emotional state, that I feel bad about it? Who is this all for? ”

People who have lost loved ones do not sit on social networks and do not read blogs. They have no strength for this. Of course, maybe for some it is also a resource. But I often heard from people after such tragedies: “For some time has passed, we went to social networks, read, but didn’t open it at all, it wasn’t before us.”

I think that this tension is not always about support, but rather about reacting your own emotions. It became scary, terrible for us, once again we felt all our defenselessness before the real world, that this could happen to anyone and anywhere. And do not war, you can just go to the cinema in your city.

The more powerful this emotional fuse is raging, the faster it can end. A person cannot be long in an excited state, because emotional reactions deplete people very much.

Why first support, and then "shy away"

At first, the person in whose life the tragedy occurred, it seems that he was not just knocked out the ground, but as if he was in a complete vacuum, he completely does not understand how to live, what to do. At this time, it is especially important for him that there are a lot of people around who give powerful emotional support and the feeling that you are not alone, that the world does not care what happened to you.

But days, weeks pass, and fewer people remain who can afford to be always there, because they have work, their own family, and business. It cannot be otherwise, because that which knocked you out of everyday life and made you think a lot, sooner or later becomes a part of your life, your memories, experiences, but it already leaves the focus of your attention. And people, who at first were so generously and powerfully supported from all sides, suddenly at one moment begin to realize that they were left alone.

My specialization is crisis counseling, therefore people who are experiencing grief, tragedy turn to me, and I have heard these stories many times: “You know, you are left alone, really, like in a vacuum. Yes, at first they sympathize with you, support you, condole with you, and then once - and you are alone. Not only that, you generally begin to feel leper, everyone shies away from you. And colleagues stop coming to you at work, as they used to come just to chat, drink tea, and relatives come less often, and neighbors. ” Then they conclude that while it's good, everyone is nearby and everyone helps, and if something happens, they will help first, and then they’re afraid of getting your grief and begin to shy away from you. But this is not so at all in reality.

If a person shouts “All bastards, I hate”, he wants to hear something completely different

Some people who have experienced such tragedies, especially men, are helped by aggression and the search for those responsible. They are like fighters, like warriors going to fight this life, because it dealt them a blow of overwhelming power and injustice. And they took this blow as a declaration of war and went to fight.

While they fight, while they fight, it holds them. But any war ends sooner or later. And you need to understand that yes, the perpetrators will be found, punished, the war will end and then the person with what remains? First of all, he needs love and support, and not swinging again into hatred, into war.

I remember how in one emergency one person said very important: “We must try to understand the scale of the disaster, that this did not cover the whole world, but somewhere still peaceful and calm, and that means that they can help you over time Again, everything will be fine. And it’s very important to see the light at the end of the tunnel. ” It’s just about the fact that when people are filled with hatred, they, this weak one, extinguish the light, and there is a feeling that there is only darkness and chaos around. But you cannot do good with evil.

For a very long time I myself was for "good with fists." If something happened, I mentally grabbed the gun and was ready to fight for all the good against all the bad. But ten years of work in the Ministry of Emergency Situations changed me greatly. I realized that people do not need hatred in any form, they need love.

Even when in an emergency a person shouts in your face: “All the bastards! I hate everyone! ”- he certainly doesn’t want you to agree with him. He wants to hear something completely different. At this moment, not anger shouts in a person, but despair and powerlessness, it is very scary for a person when he is powerless to change something.

Many times I clearly understood that a person doesn’t need to confirm his words, that everything is bastards, but for you to hug him, at least mentally, and say: “Now it’s insanely hard for you, it’s impossible badly. But you remember one thing - it will not always be like this! Someday it will be bad, but it will definitely be good! We humans are very strong. And they are able to rise from such ashes that it’s even scary to think about it. ”

Photo: Igor Starovoitov /