In facing the challenges that surround us, we can no longer find answers within the context of old world views. If we can move beyond depression and despair, the global trauma we see daily in the mass media is gradually pushing us to a higher and deeper level of awareness, and a growing recognition of our interconnection and interdependence. With a consciousness born of spiritual practice, our individual and collective traumas can become a catalyst, giving us the opportunity and empowering us to heal and transform our wounds into wisdom.
Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites for the healing of individual victims. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their healing journey. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of traumatic events surfaces not as a verbal narrative, but as a symptom. To speak publicly about one’s traumatic experiences is to invite stigma that attaches to victims.
An understanding of psychological trauma begins with rediscovering past events. The fundamental stages of recovery are establishing safety, reconstructing the trauma story, and restoring the connection between survivors and their community.
Emotional and Psychological Trauma
If you’ve gone through a traumatic experience, you may be struggling with upsetting emotions, frightening memories, or a sense of constant danger that you just can’t kick. Or you may feel numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. This brings a sense of helplessness, hopelessness and insecurities.
When bad things happen, it can take a while to get over the pain and feel safe again. But treatment and support from family and friends can speed your recovery from emotional and psychological trauma. Whether the traumatic event happened years ago or yesterday, you can heal and move on.
What Causes Emotional & Psychological Trauma?
Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless and vulnerable in a dangerous world. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and alone can be traumatic, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. After all, it’s not the objective facts that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized.
Man-made disasters or natural catastrophes can also cause this kind of trauma, even if you weren’t directly involved. Overcoming the effects of such events becomes harder, since this can lead to denial and lack of awareness.
Emotional and psychological trauma can be caused by single-blow, one-time events, such as a horrible accident, a natural disaster, or a violent attack. Trauma can also stem from ongoing, relentless stress, such as living in a crime-ridden neighborhood or struggling with cancer.
Symptoms of Trauma
Following a traumatic event, most people experience a wide range of physical and emotional reactions. These are “normal” reactions to “abnormal” events. The symptoms may last for days, weeks, or even months after the trauma ended.
- Recognized symptoms of emotional and psychological trauma include:
- Mood Swings
- Blaming Yourself
- Problems focusing
- Denial and thinking you’re perfectly okay.
- Loss of interest in others & socializing.
- Feeling tired all the time.
- Being jumpy and easily scared.
Healing & Recovery from Emotional & Psychological Trauma
Not all potentially traumatic events lead to lasting emotional and psychological damage. Some people rebound quickly from even the most tragic and shocking experiences. Others are devastated by experiences that, on the surface, appear to be less upsetting.
A number of risk factors make people susceptible to emotional and psychological trauma. People are more likely to be traumatized by a stressful experience if they’re already under a heavy stress load or have recently suffered a series of losses. People are also more likely to be traumatized by a new situation if they’ve been traumatized before – especially if the earlier trauma occurred in childhood.
Healing from trauma can become a very subjective process and can take on a very different form, depending on the person who has experienced it. Generalizing is not a good idea, and therefore it’s always best to take an approach that depends on the person trying to recover from the traumatic experience.
Sometimes, when the trauma gets too hard to deal with, it transforms into a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or what is more commonly known as PTSD. This is when moving on, or recovering from trauma, becomes increasingly difficult.
Trauma Healing Sessions at The Inner Space
At the Inner Space, we specialize in trauma healing and recovery on a one-to-one basis, where you are guided by a mental health professional to take the optimal and healthiest path to recovery. Whether you’re suffering from mild trauma symptoms or full-scale PTSD that’s completely affecting your ability to function normally in your daily life, we can help you using techniques and practices that are tailored to your needs and circumstances.
Contact us- take your first step towards healing your trauma in a safe, non judgemental, loving and supportive space.
Some of the modalities used in healing Trauma are:
In this approach, all the subconscious drivers of behavior are examined and discussed to understand what are the main causes of the DYNAMICS of your thoughts and behaviors. This modality takes you all the way back to childhood, where most of the traumas are experienced. In its original form, Psychodynamic Therapy can take a few years before you reap its benefits. Nowadays, we use a modified version which takes time into consideration, thereby reducing the number of sessions for the clients to feel better.
CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This modality will help you develop actual SKILLS to deal with the issues you're facing. As the name suggests, CBT focuses on cognition, which literally translates into “knowing”: What you know, your belief system, and how your deeply held beliefs drive your behavior. By understanding how your mind works, and how your beliefs fuel your actions, you have a better chance in applying the appropriate modifications to bring about more positive changes to your life. Once you understand the dynamics and how your mind reacts/ responds to certain triggers, you become more apt in choosing the appropriate behavior. A change in behavior will bring about a change in consequences and outcomes.
CBT is an excellent modality to comprehend the workings of the mind. It will uncover your governing beliefs, giving you a chance to mold and reframe them to bring about the desired change. The deeper the understanding, the better the prognosis.
Narrative Exposure Therapy is a treatment for trauma-spectrum disorders in survivors of multiple and complex trauma. In this modality, you are guided by the therapist, within a clinical setting, to construct a chronological narrative of your life story (with a focus on the traumatic experiences). The fragmented reports of the traumatic experiences will be transformed into a coherent narrative. Empathic understanding, active listening, congruency and unconditional positive regard are key components of the therapist’s behavior.
For traumatic stress experiences, the therapist asks in detail for emotions, cognitions, sensory information, physiological responses and probes for respective observations. You are encouraged to relive these emotions while narrating without losing your connection to the “here and now”: using permanent reminders that the feelings and physiological responses result from memories, the therapist links the experiences to episodic facts, i.e., time and place. In this way reprocessing, meaning-making and integration is facilitated. Narrative exposure therapy allows you to reflect reflection on your entire life, fostering a sense of personal identity.
In a nutshell, it attempts to place the trauma within a narrative of the person's life, to give meaning to their problems, and provide the initial steps in constructing a core sense of belonging and identity.
Recovering from a traumatic event takes time, and everyone heals at his or her own pace. But if months have passed and your symptoms aren’t letting up, you may need professional help from a trauma expert.