The Physiological Impact of Infant Medical Intervention

with Terry Monnell

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Between 1846 and 1990, surgical procedures performed on infants were done without the administration of anesthesia. This standard of practice was the result of two dominant beliefs in medical science, that babies could neither feel pain nor remember it. It took 144 years, but finally the erroneous conclusions were challenged and rejected. The consequences conservatively calculated, would currently affect approximately 10.8 million adults, thirty and older, in the United States alone.

Integrating physiological symptomatology starts with awareness of an issue or it’s manifestation, whether a dysregulated biological pattern, cognitive defense or behavioral action. But what if the origin of toxic stress or distorted perceptions had no name, no tie back event, no recognition, no advocacy or place on the list of abuses? The infant with their humanity denied, while their body was violated by tortuous pain and their soul terrorized by fear and betrayal could only have experienced an indelible impression of abuse, physical abuse and emotional neglect.

The effect would leave trauma states to trail the adult, activating their subconscious implicit memory and blindsiding them time and again as trauma and dissociation compound. What interventions might help integrate the fragments buried in the structure of the primary period?

The presentation is framed in current neuroscience and supported by quotes from renowned authorities in medicine and psychology. The areas of infant sentience, co-regulation, memory, clinical effect, the ACE study, somatic methodologies and more will give a picture of the past and present issues in infant medical trauma. It will be of interest to adults who have had this experience, therapists who work with them or with children who have been in the NICU, or for individuals have friends or family that have experienced infant medical intervention.

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Terry Monnell

Somatic Psychology

Terry Monell, BFA, CCSC, ILC, MA, Somatic Psychology concentrating in prenatal and perinatal developmental trauma.After many years as an art consultant developing private and corporate collections, contributing to publications on the visual arts and exhibiting her own work, Terry began to combine her interest in art, spirituality and psychology to explore the subconscious. Read more…
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