As a trauma-informed therapist, I talk about secure attachment because it’s the ideal model for the basis of any healthy relationship. Your earliest attachments with parents or caregivers shape your abilities and expectations for relationships throughout life. Your first relationships impact how your sense of self develops, and how you see relationships working.
In 2018 I saw Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway. As a therapist, I’m so excited to see a Broadway musical explore the world of social anxiety and mental illness with such care. In 2019, the show is scheduled to tour through over 30 cities in the USA and Canada. I admire Dear Evan Hansen for presenting mental health issues and the stigma around them, with humanity and compassion.
We all long to feel loved and accepted for who we are. To be seen and comforted in our distress feels soothing and deeply affirming. Emotional support like this is a good sign of secure attachment. When you know your wellbeing matters to someone, that’s another mark of secure attachment.
Childhood is a critical time for learning and experiencing secure attachment. Our earliest relationships do a great deal to establish our sense of self and wellbeing. Knowing, “I matter, my needs matter, and my loved ones will help keep me safe” affirms a child’s sense of self-worth.
Accepting change can be especially challenging for trauma survivors. Since my office has recently moved upstairs in the same building – presenting change – it’s a great time to talk about it! Dealing with change can offer meaningful challenges and opportunities especially for trauma survivors.
When I recommend the need for self-care to trauma survivors, they say it can feel like a chore.
Some of them even roll their eyes and tell me, “You mean you want me to take care of myself? Ugh. Who has time for that?!”
Flashbacks can take many forms. Children and adults can have emotional flashbacks. Veterans can have combat flashbacks. They are part of the aftermath of trauma for many people.
A person can experience trauma after an overwhelming experience, such as violence or an accident. Trauma may result from living with others who feel unsafe, such as parents or caregivers who were scary or shaming.
Watching a loved one struggle with any kind of substance dependence fills many of us with worry, confusion, and questions. What can we do?
Understanding trauma’s role in addiction will help more of us lead the change in attitude we need.
When someone asked me, “Do you treat men?” I realized I needed to openly address mental health concerns and challenges specific to men. From a trauma-informed point of view, there’s not much difference in the course of therapy when working with either men or women.
What is different, if anything, about therapy for men?
Adolescence awakens new emotions, social experiences and physical energy for many people. It’s often a time when young people try new things, make new friends, depend less on parents, and live more passionately.
Self-care is the sum of things you do for your emotional and physical wellbeing. Getting enough sleep, brushing your teeth, and eating well are classic examples of good physical self-care.