We use our frontal lobe everyday - it's the part of our brain that controls important cognitive skills, such as emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behavior. In essence the frontal lobe is our “control panel” of our personality. This important part of the brain is responsible for the qualities that make us unique within the animal kingdom. Crucial for understanding trauma however, the frontal lobes are also the seat for empathy.....
When we are in sync with each other, we tend to pick up each other's mannerisms (the way we sit, stand, the rhythm of our voices etc). I'm sure you all know couples who have been together for a long time who start to blend! Mirror neurons explain why we are such relational beings - and why it is so important to surround ourselves with positive people, for these neurons also make us vulnerable to others' negativity. I'm sure you could write a list of people you feel good after seeing and people you feel drained after seeing....
We are highly attuned to subtle emotional shifts in the people around us; our mirror neurons register the inner experience of others and our own bodies then make internal adjustments to whatever we notice. This shows how we are so connected and raises the question of how much individuality we actually have (shouts of 'I'm an Individual from 'Life of Brian'!). At a deep level we barely exist as individual organisms. Our brains are built to help us function as members of a tribe. And as a result, most of our energy is devoted to connecting with others.
One thing that is becoming clear in the field of research is that trauma invariably involves not being seen, not being mirrored, and not being taken into account. Almost all mental suffering involves either trouble in creating workable and satisfying relationships or difficulties in maintaining equilibrium.
My sense is that is why therapies like craniosacral can have such profound shifts for people. It relies on interpersonal rhythms, visceral awareness, vocal and facial communication - all of which help to shift people out of fight/flight status, reorganise their perception of danger, and increase their capacity to manage relationships. It is the healing offered by deep listening.
'The roots of resilience...are to be found in the sense of being understood by and existing in the mind and heart of a loving, attuned and self-possessed other.'