As noted in the previous section, CRM suggests that survival terror, grief and shame are the driving forces behind all post-traumatic diagnoses and are therefore the primary treatment targets. This can be a tall order when most people experience significant survival terror in the present when faced with the task of remembering and feeling these affects from the past. The survival terror and shame which are a consequence of disrupted attachment from the start of life onwards to the present manifests in the somatic responses to, and the cognitive beliefs of:
1 I am going to die;
2 I do not exist;
3 I am a failure as a human being; and
4 I am unlovable.
One or more of these can be present in a person, driving clinical symptoms, dysfunctional relationships and repetitive behaviours. They may be stated explicitly at some point in therapy, but much of the time they are implicit throughout much of the course of therapy. These beliefs and memories threaten one’s safety, and the nervous system freezes into capsules that hold life’s memories and experiences that produced these beliefs. The body memories, emotions and negative beliefs that many people avoid feeling at all costs, year after year, continue to have a profound impact on their well-being, including blocking the willingness and ability to love the self and others.
Therefore, the following “Truths of One’s Life” (conceptually adapted from Ross’s Trauma Model (Ross, 2007)) are also targeted and labelled in CRM as “little t” truths, with particular attention paid toward the peritraumatic grief, shame, rage and terror inherent in these truths. Ironically, there is survival terror around working through the survival terror and “Truths of One’s Life”; a highly resourced therapeutic modality such as CRM is necessary to prevent re-traumatisation during the therapy itself. These “little t” truths are the following:
1 What happened?
2 What didn’t happen that should have happened?
3 The experience and paradox of being attached to a “perpetrator” and the consequences of this, and
4 How your life is/was influenced, shaped and limited as a result
These “little t” truths are considered to be the source of the woundedness and are the focus of the trauma work in order to the clear the nervous system of the debris that blocks access to: the “Big T” truths, true Core Self, or our highest consciousness or spiritual essence. The space to attend to this higher awareness is created through: the resolution of the “little t” truths, exploration of the “Big T” questions (below) and access to Core Self. All of these enhance the conscious development of meaning to one’s life. The “Big T” truths, adapted from Ross Heaven’s work (2008) and this author’s personal healing work are:
1 What is the light inside you trying to express?
2 What took you off of your original soul path, core self essence or life’s work?
3 What prevents you from returning to this path?
4 What is your special gift to yourself and the world?
5 Who are you REALLY?
Although CRM is a trauma treatment model, the ultimate goal is expansion into the higher meaning of one’s life and the ability to operationalise or manifest that meaning in one’s day-to-day living. CRM combines a variety of fundamental somatic, relational and spiritual methods to heal the trauma that prevents us from stepping into and embodying the universal resources of love, compassion and the spiritual energy that is internal as well as external. There are seven primary resources and a number of secondary resources which comprise the Comprehensive Resource Model. Eye position is used to anchor the resources; this is key to the approach and to orientation toward the memory being done safely and gently. This has its origins in the fixed eye position work of Audrey Cook and Rick Bradshaw (Cook & Bradshaw, 1999; Bradshaw et al., 2011). Few of the resources inherent in CRM are brand-new inventions; most have origins as will be highlighted in individual chapters. It is the combination, sequencing, flow and nested use of these resources that allows people to safely and fully heal without being re-traumatised. It is the construction of scaffolding resources and the process of nesting them together concurrently or sequentially throughout the healing work that is at the core of the support afforded to the person’s journey of mind-body-spirit healing through CRM. Changes in thinking, perception, and relationship with the self are a natural consequence of this work. This kind of resourcing provides not only the feeling of safety but the physiological state of safety. The seven primary resources are the following:
1 Three levels of attunement
2 Seven different breathing exercises
3 Sacred/Special Place
4 Various types of somatic grids
5 Internal attunement/attachment behaviours
6 Distress, and
7 Core Self/highest consciousness.
There are also a range of secondary resources, which are added to as CRM continues to develop. They include, but are not limited to:
4 Sacred geometry.
Given that dissociation is inherent in Complex PTSD – although to what degree varies from client to client – it is helpful to tease out the aspects of self that are responsible for “holding” the attachment history and truth of one’s life. Ego state work, or work with “parts” of the self, is woven throughout CRM and is an important aspect of the work. Somatic dissociation (such as dissociation that is manifesting in chronic pain, recurring injuries and medical conditions) are also addressed in this model. All of the CRM resources are body-based. This is a strong statement when it is recognised that individuals suffering from Complex PTSD have difficulty with being embodied and therefore may have diffciulty benefitting significantly from psychotherapy, let alone self-care practices. When a person is in a chronic state of dissociation or “freeze”, interventions which are cognitive, somatic or spiritual do not have the chance to “stick” or integrate into the functioning whole of the nervous system. The nature of the CRM work provides all of the skills and options needed to navigate the obstacles to somatic embodiment in the present moment and then uses that very same “present moment” embodiment to process and heal the wounds that created the fear of embodiment in the first place. There are two primary purposes for the use of Resourcing: first, to create these Resources and their anchoring eye positions as a place from which to process survival terror and the “truth of your life” (in sessions); and second to activate the dormant neurobiology of the resources themselves for day-to-day use into perpetuity. When this occurs, the willingness to engage in emotional and spiritual self-care practices becomes a desired and possible state of being.
(Excerpted from) The Comprehensive Resource Model: Effective Therapeutic Techniques for the Healing of Complex Trauma, written by Lisa Schwarz, Frank Corrigan, Alastair Hull and Rajiv Raju, published by Routledge, 2017