Trauma- Informed Therapy
Most of the mental and behavioral symptoms we experience develop as a result of adaptation to what we have been through. Trauma is an oft-used, heavy word that can be difficult to wrap our heads around. If we think of trauma as a shift in our brain and body’s perception of safety, we can start to see how we have come to protect ourselves.
We can experience a lack of safety that is transmitted generationally through our parents and grandparents and so on.
We can sense a lack of safety in our early attachments with caregivers.
We can experience pain, suffering, neglect, exclusion, and abuses in our developmental years that go unseen and unresolved.
We can lose touch with our selves as we begin to see our SELF as a threat to belonging in our neighborhoods, schools, churches and our own families.
There are so many, numerous events that contribute to whether we experience our worlds as safe or unsafe. Depression and anxiety in all their forms, addiction, disease and premature aging are how our brain and body cope with unresolved traumas.
Even if our current life environment is relatively safe, our brain is still managing events from the past that we haven’t addressed and worked through. The more we haven’t figured out, the more dangerous our brain expects life to be. When the brain expects danger, it produces chemicals and hormones to protect you from danger. This is what stress feels like, it causes physical and emotional illness ages us in every way.
Our bodies suffer, our minds suffer, our families, neighborhoods and communities experience our stress and then pass it along.
Relationships are very hard to maintain under stress. We create what we fear and when that fear is ever-present it poisons the safety of the relationship. Our spouses and children inevitably feel the effects of our unresolved traumas.
PSYCHOTHERAPY is the process of figuring out where we have been vulnerable to trauma. Its marking where we are as a function of where we have been so we know where we want to go from here.
In therapy, we identify our own strengths, skills and virtues. We learn to:
Notice what we experience
Sit with the feelings of discomfort
Put it all into perspective
Heal ourselves, our families, our communities one step at a time.