Four Stages of Brain Development


United States Department of Homeland Security

Key Points

  1. The brain develops in a specific sequence: the survival brain, emotion brain, attachment brain, and cognition brain.
  2. Children exposed to chronic trauma experience overdeveloped survival brains.
  3. Trauma survivors process their reality through the filters of fight, flight, freeze, fear and anger, insecure attachments, negative beliefs, and impulsive decision making.
  4. Healing from trauma requires stabilization of all these systems.

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Four Stages of Brain Development

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