Healing Trauma and Embracing Your Life
Trauma clouds every aspect of your being. Leaving you either numb and shut down or agitated and on alert. Human life is stressful and traumatic. Most people have experienced a traumatic event or relationship that betrayed them.
What makes the difference is how you recover, and the kind of supports you have in your life.
When you experience trauma, abuse or neglect when you are young, the consequences run deep. You have fewer inner resources to deal with the impact, which can lead to unhealthy ways of dealing with the pain, such as addictions, self-harm, destructive relationships, isolation.
When we have safe and secure relationships, we can process traumatic experiences and restore our natural instincts.
Do you find that your reactions don’t make sense or seem out of proportion? This is because trauma binds your energy, leaving you frozen in the past, affecting how you respond now. When you release this energy, you can develop resilience, a deeper connection with yourself and others, and live more fully in the present.
At Turning Point Therapy we understand the importance of creating a safe and secure relationship with you, which is the foundation for trauma recovery. We provide therapy that addresses all aspects of mind and body.
'Convinced we are less than human, we strive to become more than human [...] the black hole of shame is bottomless [...] Unless shame is healed we will never be enough. [...] we are left with the mad scramble of trying to fill the hole again. This is shame. Constantly, desperately trying to fill the hole that lies at our core with something, anything, rather than turn, face the hole, understand it, accept it, feel it and heal it.'
“Because we understand how nerve racking this can be, and that successful therapy depends on finding the right fit”.
“The roots of resilience are to be found in the sense of being understood by and existing in the mind and heart of a loving, attuned, and self-possessed other.”
Types of Trauma You May be Struggling with
Most of you may understand trauma as those horrifying events where your life or someone else’s life is threatened. These might include;
- Car Accidents
- Witnessing violence
- See someone die
- Surgery/birth trauma
- Natural Disaster
- Sexual Assault/Child sexual abuse
- Child abuse and neglect
Trauma is defined as any event that overwhelms your nervous system. Depending on your age and choices at the time, many experiences can be traumatic because they cause similar effects on your nervous system where we feel powerless, overwhelmed, or confused. Here are a few that you may not associate with having a traumatic effect.
- End of relationship/friendship
- Victim of gossip
- Victim of discrimination
- Workplace stress, harassment, job loss
- Moving or significant change in circumstances
- Living with ongoing criticism and contempt
Trauma that goes unresolved can diminish your ability to deal with further stressful, traumatic events. This can lead to developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD. When we have unresovled trauma in our system we have a tendency to under-react to what is abnormal (rage, abuse, neglect) and over-react to what is normal (misunderstandings, being late, emotions, not being heard).
Building a Safe Space with you
Psychotherapy is a process that allows you to explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour with the non-judgmental presence of a therapist.
At Turning Point we practice the following aspects of creating a safe therapeutic space to explore your experience together.
You decide what you are willing to share.
The focus of the sessions is up to you. No-one will force you to speak about anything you are uncomfortable with or to follow a suggestion. You have the right to your boundaries. Trauma, especially trauma where our physical, emotional and sexual boundaries have been violated by another can leave us unclear about what you are comfortable with. Our therapists are there to help you voice that and it starts as soon as you enter therapy through invitation and collaboration with you at every turn. We make it clear that you have the right to say no and to have that respected.
We go into material that you can tolerate.
In a similar way we work at your speed and rhythm. It is important that you do not feel overwhelmed by emotions and painful feelings. Otherwise, you will just shut down again. So we keep assessing what seems tolerable as we go along. This is not to say we don't ever challenge but that comes within a trusting and safe relationship.
You will not have to tell the ‘story’ over and over again.
Research shows that just retelling your story over and over is not therapeutic. Details of the story are less important to know unless it is important to tell someone or to process the experience when you are ready and when there is a process in place with your therapist to do this. Going over details again and again is often counterproductive and can be re-traumatizing.
You are not alone in your experience.
We strive to provide a safe and compassionate presence to understand your struggles. Even if we don’t always get it right, we will listen to you and strive to be present to what is coming up for you. We have experience and skill in being able to be present to intense feelings, and to the dark side of human experiences. Knowing that someone is beside you can bring comfort and acceptance that makes it easier to bear sensitive and challenging material.
Be open to feedback.
Often trauma (especially relational and developmental) leaves you mistrustful of others and unsafe to voice concerns. As therapists we do not see oursleves as perfect and therefore there may be times that we make mistakes or do not connect with you in the way you would like. We want to hear anytime that we have caused discomfort or misunderstood you so you have an experience of repair in relationship and can know that it is possible to express your feelings without the relationship ending or you are punished. This process may well positively shift your experience of relationships and responsible, caring communication.å