3 Ways Trauma Therapy Helps You Recover
Beginning trauma therapy is an important decision. You may feel a mixture of hope and fear: hope for freedom from the emotional and mental pain and fear of admitting and feeling how vulnerable you were.
You might be asking yourself, “Wouldn’t it be easier to pretend that I was never in danger?” Yes, it would be less work upfront, but there are longterm costs to your emotional and even physical health. More information on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their effect on health can be read here.
First of all, let me say that I am sad to hear that you have experienced trauma. I’m glad you are considering trauma therapy for self-care and healing. Next, I will highlight just 3 of the many benefits you will receive from doing the hard work of trauma therapy.
1. Trauma Therapy helps you re-enter your current life.
When you experience trauma (a threat to your life or health) it can dominate your thoughts, memories and experiences. Traumatic incidents can feel bigger than you and cause you to forget that you are so much more than the bad things that have happened to you.
Trauma therapy with a safe therapist helps you process the hurtful experience while being treated with dignity and respect. You can then separate who you are from what happened to you.
2. Trauma Therapy releases you from re-experiencing the trauma
Flashbacks are sudden, intrusive memories that you experience as if the trauma was happening in the present moment. Fragments of your experience return to you. Sights, smells, body sensations and seeing the trauma like a movie clip are all types of memory fragments that suddenly claim your attention.
You can develop skills with your therapist that will “put the brakes on flashbacks” as Babette Rothschild says in her book, 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery.
Then you and your therapist can choose a treatment to apply to the traumatic incident to change it into a processed memory from your past. When this happens the brain can store the memory in the brain’s library (hippocampus). The trauma is “processed” into a memory and has a place to rest instead of randomly causing flashbacks.
3. Choosing trauma therapy reclaims some of your power to manage your life.
You did not choose to be abused or in a car accident or to get a life-threatening illness. This can lead to a feeling of powerlessness. It is true that your power has limits, but deciding and acting on your response to trauma asserts the power that you do have. Making choices helps you overcome the trauma.
I hope this post helps you in your decision.
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*Please note that my license allows me to work with Indiana residents only.*