Traumatic events are personal and some people develop PTSD from situations that, in the eyes of society and others, are “nothing”. For this reason, trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder are difficult to treat. We have extensive knowledge of the causes of trauma, but ultimately it's a very personal journey. Why is trauma therapy so hard? Emotions demand to be felt in order to heal, and this makes healing so difficult and painful. While it's very rewarding when barriers begin to break down in the therapy of a person with post-traumatic stress disorder, it can also be challenging to manage.
In trauma therapy, making progress often means confronting frightening memories of past traumatic experiences. It can involve dealing with uncomfortable emotions that have been locked up. While the psychological healing process is beneficial, it can be very difficult for a person with post-traumatic stress disorder. Keep in mind that post-traumatic stress disorder often gets worse before it gets better, but it will get better. It's about the integration of trauma, not about happily ever after.
Trauma is painful. Pain is part of life and we all carry it with us all the time. The most difficult part of trauma therapy, as in many other types of therapy, is accepting the fact that the pain that causes clients to seek help won't necessarily go away. For many, this is a moving and cathartic way of addressing traumatic memories, a way that gives them the space to tell their story through their eyes rather than through the eyes of their parents or friends or anyone else who has tried to take control of the narrative. In the imaginary space, the survivor is guided through a brief vignette in which she enters a spontaneous state and chooses any type of activity to explore the traumatic story. A strong focus on telling the traumatic story reflects outdated notions of what trauma does to people and how to treat it.
If you are comfortable doing so, you and your therapist can work together to write down your traumatic history as a way of recognizing that it occurred, an empowering experience in which you give each other permission to address your trauma with honesty and compassion. My premise as a therapist is that resilience existed and continues to work in this client; my job is to help him recognize it and reconnect with it. An alternative option is somatic experience therapy (SE), a holistic approach to treating traumatic disorders that focuses on releasing negative energy that remains in the body after childhood trauma. They can also structure sessions in a way that protects you from involuntary retraumatization by asking you to manually walk away from trauma in times of stress. In vivo exposure involves coming into contact with real people, objects, places, or situations associated with the traumatic event. The fact that they have gone above and beyond and have found a therapist is another sign of resilience, as is the fact that they continue to attend sessions over and over again. A trauma therapist is there to help you overcome those painful emotions and get back on your feet.
Trauma therapy is about visiting the past and making sense of what happened in a way that allows you to make peace with it and recognize that the threat is no longer present. Not all trauma survivors need to process trauma. Trauma processing requires a strong and secure bond between client and therapist. One of the best forms of imaginary exposure for PTSD is “extended exposure”, which involves deliberately re-experiencing the traumatic event in the imagination in vivid detail, as if it were happening right now. The goal is to help the client regain a sense of control over the traumatic experience by choosing a response to the traumatic event. The difficulty of trauma therapy lies in its emotional intensity; emotions demand to be felt in order for healing to take place.
This makes healing so difficult and painful. It's important to remember that post-traumatic stress disorder often gets worse before it gets better, but it will get better eventually. It's about integrating trauma into one's life rather than expecting everything to be perfect afterwards. My role as a therapist is to help clients recognize their own resilience and reconnect with it. Somatic experience therapy (SE) provides an alternative approach by focusing on releasing negative energy stored in the body after childhood trauma.
In vivo exposure involves coming into contact with real people, objects, places or situations associated with the traumatic event. The fact that they have found a therapist and continue attending sessions over time shows resilience on their part. A trauma therapist helps clients overcome painful emotions so they can move forward with their lives. Trauma therapy involves revisiting past events so they can be understood from one's own perspective rather than through someone else's eyes. Extended exposure therapy encourages clients to re-experience traumatic events in vivid detail so they can regain control over them by choosing how they respond. This process can be emotionally intense but ultimately rewarding when barriers begin breaking down.