Glossary

The language used in connection with all concepts and tools on the Trigger Orientated Therapy website is drawn from that typically used by clients in their day to day lives. Where therapist orientated terminology is used the goal has been to keep the frequency and technical nature of that language to a minimum in service of sharing expertise, knowledge and power with clients.

Aide-Memoire: For many of us noticing and describing our emotions, thoughts and sensation interacting in real time is a novel experience.  The Aide-Memoire holds prompts that the can used to help clients raise their self-awareness and capacity to connect with and describe their Reflective Mind, Reactive Brain and body as that interacting system within us becomes increasingly triggered.

 

Attachment Related Threat: Refers to the intensity and/or predictability of the relationships we share with those who our survival system connects our safety with and monitors on a continuous basis.  These are typically parent/s, partner/s, boss/es, and/or close friends/colleagues. 

Attachment Related Triggering: Survival orientated change (fight/flight/hide/play dead) to the reflective mind (influence shrinks) and the reactive brain/body (influence grows) system when the reactive brain senses the availability of someone it associates with safety and security become weaker and/or less predictable. 

Constructive Avoidance: Resources that help us avoid being triggered and that do not harm us or others around us.

Destructive Avoidance: Resources that help us and/or others  avoid triggering that instead harms us and/or those around us.

FOPPI (Trained at the CPD): An acronym that describes the main behavioural traits humans experience in connection with Attachment Related Triggering and physical threat related triggering. 

Triggering Up: When the mind, brain and body system is either completely or largely dominated by fight and flight orientated behaviour patterns (FOPPI). The Reflective Mind has largely shut down. The Polyvagal Theory labels this as a Sympathetic response.

Triggering Down: A dynamic change in the mind, brain and body system orientated towards hide and play dead orientated behaviours (FOPPI). The Polyvagal Theory labels this as a Dorsal Vagal response.

Reactive Body: The capacity of the body to either directly react to internal or external stimuli through the neurological and chemical interaction of the senses, the Reactive Brain and Reflective Mind (when not hyper or hypo triggering/triggered). 

Reactive Brain: The areas of the human brain that continuously and automatically monitor the world within and external to us and initiate survival orientated behaviour patterns if physical danger or reduced attachment related security/predictability is perceived. 

Reconditioning: Progressive reduction in the intensity and/or duration of discomfort we experience each time we trigger.

Reflective Mind: A human capability to notice and reflect on our own thoughts - emotions - sensations and exert choice in how we react to them and/or influence them.

Resources: Anything we can do that reduces our psychological discomfort and/or that of others around us.

Survival System: Our ancient nervous and physical systems that continuously monitor the environment within and around us for threat real or imagined. Always ready to trigger us into uncomfortable fight/flight and/or hide/freeze states. 

Trigger: A threat perceived as either physical or attachment related that causes a survival orientated change in the human mind, brain and body system (FOPPI).

Trigger Flag: The first physical sensation or mannerism that a client notices typically in the hyper triggering area of the Rainbow Map. Used as a reliable early warning sign that their reflective mind is starting to shut down and used as a queue to engage resources to avoid the unwanted impact of their normal trigger cycle on them and others around them. Emotions and Thoughts are typically not reliable Trigger Flags as they have a stealth like quality as we become increasingly triggered making them harder to notice, for most clients, than physical sensations and/or mannerisms. 

Triggering: The process of increasing change in the human Reflective Mind and Reactive Brain/Body system in response to a trigger.

Trigger Cycle: A line on a Rainbow Map that tracks the direction and speed of change of an individual’s Mind, Brain and Body from being most at ease with themselves, triggering and returning to the state they describe as being at relative ease. 

Trigger Cycle Duration: The total time for a person's reflective mind and reactive brain/body system to cycle from an untriggered state and back in response to a physical and/or attachment related threat.

Un-triggered: When the mind, brain body system is not influenced by a survival

orientated set of behaviours. The Polyvagal Theory labels this as a Ventral Vagal response.