As awareness of trauma-informed care has grown in recent years, we’ve stressed the importance offering an authentic healing relationship in our role as therapists. But another core concept deserves more attention: helping clients become aware of, and nurture their authentic self.
I really dislike the word addict to describe someone. I believe that people are more than just their addiction! Yes, many of my clients are trauma survivors who use (or have used) drugs and alcohol (or food or self-harming behavior) to feel less badly and they are/have been addicted to their drug of choice, but they are people in pain. More than just the word addict is needed to describe them. Continue reading
This is painful. It’s something I never wanted to, or thought, we’d have to talk about. With the upheaval in our country on all sides caused by the election results, everything feels a bit tougher these past few weeks. It’s like many of us are trying to walk through mud with every step… wondering how to move forward in these uncertain times.
If a child in elementary or middle school is acting impulsively, not paying attention and doing poorly in class… the reason seems to be a given these days: ADHD! The child may then be promptly diagnosed and prescribed Ritalin, Adderall or some other stimulant medication.
From current events to politics, there is no shortage of anxiety-inducing information in the world. At times, it can feel like our senses are being bombarded with worrisome news. How much worry is too much? How can we cope? This can certainly be more difficult for those who have lacked secure attachment in childhood or have experienced trauma during their lives. In fact, those with insecure, avoidant, or disorganized attachment, attachment wounds, or trauma histories will have a harder time re-regulating their nervous systems.
How to Stop Worrying Too Much
Within the last few weeks, I have heard of two more young people dying from heroin overdoses. Tragedies like this are becoming ever more common.
Right now, in my opinion, there is a heroin/opiate epidemic going on. It’s spanning all ages, all races, all genders, and all socioeconomic statuses! It doesn’t matter if your town has a Starbucks or a beautiful, organic farmers market.
Sometimes in addiction treatment, just getting free from using drugs or alcohol can hijack all our attention. I cannot stress enough how important it is to recognize trauma’s role when we talk about addiction treatment and recovery. The article “The Link Between Trauma and Addiction” by the Maryland Addiction Recovery Center made this point so well. I want to follow up from a trauma-informed care perspective.
The phrase “self-harming behavior” may call up images of troubled teenagers with cuts on their arms. But self-injury can occur for people of any age, in children, adolescents and adults, whether male or female. This is not at all a teenage fad!
From the outside, it seems puzzling that any person could develop an eating disorder like anorexia, bulimia or compulsive overeating. When we see someone starving themselves or eating themselves into obesity, the temptation is to criticize or correct them: “Just stop it! Can’t you see you’re hurting yourself?”
But criticism or judgment is the last thing a person with an eating disorder needs. If we want to help people Continue reading
We know that good relationships are so important to our happiness, yet we may not know just how vital they are to our health and well-being.
What do our connections to others give us? And what happens when we don’t have them?