The experience of trauma makes a profound mark on a person. It doesn’t matter whether the injury is grave and evident, like the bruising of a battered person, or hard to see, like the emotional neglect of someone detached and withdrawn. Whatever the cause, when a person feels threatened, helpless, and unable to escape, that person knows trauma.
It’s good, healthy and human to want love and seek it out. We live longer, healthier lives when we feel close to someone safe. Some people feel painfully disconnected, and long to open up to others. But then they stop themselves from reaching out.
As therapists, we want to empower people to build more meaningful connections. For all of us, healthy relationships matter. In fact, deep relationships are essential to life as a healthy human being. For trauma survivors, the act of deepening relationships in a healthy way can be particularly difficult.
Trauma recovery takes hard work, which survivors often wish could go faster. A new client recently asked me, “Should I be exercising? Doing yoga? Meditating? What can I be doing physically to help me heal or recover more quickly? What else can I do to get through all of this?” It was a great question, so today, I’m going to address it in case you’ve been wondering too.
What’s your relationship coping skill? Find out why it’s so important to say something!
Say something, I’m giving up on you
I’ll be the one, if you want me to
Anywhere, I would’ve followed you
Say something, I’m giving up on you
Lyrics from “Say Something” by A Great Big World
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.
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.