What does processing trauma feel like?

You may experience common symptoms such as depression, anxiety, fear, trouble sleeping, self-guilt, or a feeling of powerlessness. Various stimuli, such as a physical object, a song, a place, a feeling or an interpersonal situation, can remind you of the trauma and, therefore, provoke an emotional response or belief. Other reactions also appear, some of which are quite worrying. Early arrivals usually include hyperalert or hypoalert, bouts of anxiety, anger, shame and guilt.

Later on we can see depression, avoidant behaviors, addictive behaviors, etc. Start feeling your emotions (instead of minimizing them). For some clients, working to improve self-regulation increases their quality of life enough that they don't feel the need to thoroughly process the traumatic event itself. Not all trauma survivors need to process trauma.

Trauma processing requires a strong and secure bond between client and therapist. The goal of trauma processing is to develop the skills necessary to cope with the ways in which trauma still manifests itself in life, so that waves of panic, fear, or despair begin to occur less frequently. Many trauma survivors may first need to learn and practice a variety of self-care skills that they can then employ during the memory work phase of therapy. Trauma can also destroy fundamental beliefs, such as that the world is safe and that humanity is naturally good, research suggests, drowning many survivors in waves of depression and isolation.

By analyzing the chaotic personal aftermath of trauma with an eye for strengths, survivors can recover liberated energies, but which are rarely recognized as such in the fight against fear, pain and loss. Specializing in trauma recovery, couples, relationships, Asian diasporas and LGBTQ+ multicultural issues %26.Other clients feel the need to review certain aspects of their traumatic experience, over and over again, until they can have a sense of control over this crucial event that separates life for them into two phases, before and after the trauma. Recently, my therapist told me that when I talk about my trauma there is a disconnect in what I say. Narrative processing is the sixth stage, the final stage of the trauma integration process, in which the client processes their emerging narrative, using a top-down modality based on conversation.

The fact that we focus too much on telling the traumatic story reflects outdated notions of what trauma does to people and how to treat it. Interpersonal trauma, such as childhood sexual abuse or sexual assault, can be very individual, but group therapy can show you that other people have been through similar situations and is generally more affordable than individual therapy.

Ruth Bupp
Ruth Bupp

Total music maven. Infuriatingly humble pop culture advocate. Proud coffee enthusiast. Infuriatingly humble food scholar. Freelance twitter guru. Evil beer junkie.

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