ABSTRACT

This chapter begins with an introduction to state dependent functioning (Perry, 2000a) and some foundations describing how our brains are impacted by stress and trauma. Readers are provided with a brief overview of the key functions of the cortex, the limbic system and the brainstem and some of the changes that result from the activation of the stress response system. With this background, the authors draw from Obear's (2013) description of the triggering event cycle and using several examples, they introduce leaders to several strategies they can use when navigating triggering events. As building body awareness is an important part of becoming trauma-responsive, the authors describe some of the complexities involved in building sensory and emotional literacy by tuning into the body. Next, the authors describe the importance of learning the pathways to regulation and using this information to create positive climates that support resilience and healing. Four different pathways to regulation are introduced including relational regulation, top down approaches to regulation, bottom up approaches to regulation (repetitive somatosensory activities) and intentional disengagement approaches to regulation (Perry, 2020c). This chapter ends by describing how schools and organizations are impacted by state-based functioning reinforcing why the pathways to regulation are so critical to understand.