“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.” ~ Shah Rukh Khan
When we hear the word trauma, we tend to think about military veterans, survivors of horrific accidents, and PTSD. Because of this, we might dismiss our experiences of trauma and try to ignore the pain we carry. We all respond to traumatic events differently, and two people can experience the same event and have very different perceptions, feelings and reactions to it. Trauma can happen to anyone – and so many people are affected by it.
Traumas can be caused through a single incident, such as a car accident, natural disaster, sexual assault, or invasive medical procedure. Traumas can also be developmental, created over years of neglect and/or abuse. Trauma symptoms present on a wide spectrum, and can include eating and sleep issues, hyper-vigilance, disassociation, anxiety, depression, difficulties with concentration and isolation to name a few. Following a trauma, some individuals develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) characterized by experiencing flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares and changes in mood.
Therapy provides a chance to revisit the hurt in a safe, healthy manner. You get to explore and understand what happened and begin to set things straight again, all at your own pace. Your mind and body get a chance to work through what happened, pick up the pieces, and prepare for the life ahead.You can learn better ways of coping with life’s stressors, develop new perspectives (about yourself and about the trauma), and rebuild your sense of normalcy.
Therapy for trauma can help you:
• Accept your emotions and learn how to cope
• Reconnect with your body and be present
• Rebuild relationships and feelings of trust
• Learn relaxation techniques and improve sleep
• Manage flashbacks and nightmares
• Feel confident and self-aware
• Move forward from the past and grow
At Best Life Therapy your trauma-informed therapist will create a safe healing-place to support you in learning the practical tools you need to find your way through difficult feelings and situations while allowing you to resolve painful experiences allowing for healthier and happier relationships.
A specific type of trauma, known as an “attachment wound”, can significantly contribute to anxiety, depression, and painful relationship patterns. As a child, it was essential that your attachment needs were met by your parents (or caregivers) to help you mature into an emotionally healthy adult. Examples of attachment needs include the need to feel safe, secure, protected, and nurtured. There is a need to feel affection, loving connection, positive attention, acceptance and support. When these essential qualities are missing from childhood it creates deficits, or gaps, in your emotional development.
Unfortunately, these unmet needs tend to carry over into adulthood, and can result in present day anxiety, depression, and relationship struggles. Examples of attachment wounds include:
Feeling shunned, rejected, abandoned, or neglected by a parent (or important caregiver)
Being invalidated by a parent, where emotional needs and personal experiences were minimized, overlooked belittled
Having a parent who was unavailable, (e.g., distracted, ill, depressed, self-absorbed)
Having a parent who puts their wants (e.g., alcohol, relationships, need for perfection, etc.) ahead of your needs
Experiencing a general lack of support in childhood
Having a parent who was enmeshed (thus blocking the development/expression of your sense of self)
Therapy can provide the opportunity to feel seen and heard in a way that an individual may have not have experienced before, which makes the therapeutic process itself a component of healing. When clients are committed to openness and vulnerability in the therapy room and in their relationship, attachment injuries can be healed, changing the course of a relationship to create a new foundation of deep connection, fulfillment, and love.