When we wish there was a rewind button
Trauma is most usually the result of a threat to the self. It can be from a threat to the physical self, for example, through accidents or through violent abuse from another person. Or it may result from a threat to the sense of self and ones identity, or core values and beliefs about life, the self and others. This can happen after exposure to long term verbal and emotional abuse, which is often reinforced by physical abuse or violence.
The result is often a deep and painful gash at the core of a person’s self. Circumstances that remind the person in some way of the original threat (and this can be an ongoing life situation) can trigger this deeply uncomfortable feeling. This can result in anger, depression, fear, or timidity. It can often lead to physical feelings, such as exhaustion, panic or physical pain.
Although we cannot undo what has already happened, (we cannot press the rewind button) we can go back and untangle those memories, feelings, and reactions, like a loop of tape, from when the trauma happened so that our mind and body doesn’t get stuck at that point, unable to move forward. We can smooth it out so that the trauma is no longer on an eternally recurring loop, endlessly relived below the surface, at the level of the subconscious, in response to barely noticeable triggers.
Trauma work is undertaken in a very safe environment. The person is kept at a distance, technically dissociated, from the event. Our mind and body can then gain new insights and learnings that allow us to stay safe without having to carry the effect of the trauma with us.
Before trauma work can begin it is important that other internal resources are put in place so that you have all that you need to deal with the trauma in your own time, at your own pace. This usually requires several pre-trauma sessions so that you can have a strong and secure sense of self. There is never any rush and you will be in charge of how you want to proceed.