Trauma is a life-altering experience that can create lasting emotional and psychological scars. It can come in different forms, like physical/sexual assault, neglect, war, accidents, abusive relationships, and violent crimes. Trauma survivors might develop conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.
However, healing is possible after experiencing trauma. With the right therapy and support, survivors of trauma can overcome it and reclaim their lives. Here is a survivor’s perspective on how therapy helped her overcome trauma.
Firstly, therapy gave me a safe space to express my emotions and experiences. It can be challenging to open up about trauma, especially if you fear being judged, shamed, or re-traumatized. But a skilled therapist can create a non-judgmental environment that allows clients to talk about their feelings, thoughts, and memories without fear of retaliation. As I spoke about my trauma, I felt a sense of validation and validation that my experiences were real, and my emotions were valid.
Secondly, therapy helped me understand the impact of trauma on my life. I often struggled with guilt, shame, and self-blame for what happened to me, and therapy helped me realize that trauma was not my fault. I learned that trauma disrupts the brain’s normal functioning and alters the way we perceive and respond to the world. My therapist also helped me identify patterns of behavior and thought that were linked to my trauma, such as avoidance of triggers or hyper-vigilance, which gave me insight into my condition.
Thirdly, therapy gave me tools to cope with my PTSD symptoms. Disorders such as PTSD can be debilitating and interfere with daily life. Through therapy, I learned practical skills such as breathing techniques, grounding exercises, and mindfulness that helped me regulate my emotions, reduce anxiety, and manage intrusive thoughts. My therapist also suggested other activities like exercise, journaling, and social support that were beneficial for improving my mental health.
Lastly, therapy gave me hope that I could overcome my trauma. In the early stages of my recovery, my trauma felt like an insurmountable obstacle that would define me for the rest of my life. However, as I progressed through therapy, I saw that I could heal and lead a fulfilling life. Seeing the changes in myself motivated me to continue therapy and work towards my goals.
In summary, overcoming trauma is a difficult journey that requires support, patience, and the right resources. However, it is possible to reclaim our lives after experiencing trauma. Therapy is a powerful tool that can help survivors heal from the emotional and psychological scars of trauma, and I am a testament to this. If you or someone you know has experienced trauma, know that help is available, and you are not alone.