“Heal the pain of yesterday so you can experience the joy of tomorrow.”
I have been hearing a common theme among peers, clients and voices across the community; a misunderstanding of trauma and what it actually is. I’ve had several situations in which clients would ask for therapeutic help, explaining “I don’t think I’ve experienced trauma, but I know something is off in my life.” Often times this is followed by a story of abuse, pain and suffering. I’ve observed when we hear the word “trauma” we tend to imagine the horrid realities of war, sexual abuse, or near death experiences and assume we have not experienced trauma in our personal lives. Yet psychological trauma visits us in unexpected seasons, through unexpected ways, completely uninvited, even in the most subtle ways.
Psychological trauma is defined as “damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event” (van der Kolk, 2014). Trauma happens when we perceive a situation to be life-threatening and believe there is no means of escape. We can also refer to trauma as a highly distressing situation that “knocks you off your feet” emotionally. We then get “stuck” in the memory of this event. If you are human, you have experienced something like this. It is important to know time does not heal psychological trauma on its own. Psychological trauma becomes part of who we are, but it is possible to come to peace and heal from its devastating effects. Not only is there healing, but an opportunity to increase mental and emotional resilience in the process.
If you find yourself confronted with the unwanted debris of a distressing event from the past, there is hope and the opportunity to heal.
Why you should face your life history and heal your trauma…
- No one is immune to psychological trauma, so why not take inventory of past events to see how you can increase joy, peace and performance in your life?
- The effects of trauma may last for a few moments or a lifetime.
- Trauma leads to the development of addictions, depression, anxiety, PTSD and social problems.
- Trauma weakens the immune system, making you more vulnerable to disease and sickness.
Some steps of action you can take…
- Find a good therapist (i’ll be writing a post about what to look for in a good therapist).
- Get involved in a mentoring or support group.
- Become educated about how trauma affects your brain and your life.
If you have questions, comments, or topic suggestions, message me at firstname.lastname@example.org.