How can you overcome memories of trauma in the aftermath?
Last Updated: 03/21/2017 at 2:35pm
Cynthia Stocker, LCSW
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
My approach is direct, kind, honest & collaborative. My clients appreciate that I help them in a way that cuts through the jargon and gives clear explanations.
Top Rated Answers
I find that one of the best ways to overcome trauma is to talk about it. It's scientifically proven that exposing yourself to something of which you are afraid helps to to overcome that fear; the same is true of traumatic events. By confiding in somebody that you trust about your emotions and fears, you force yourself to face the trauma, thus making it slightly less frightening and emotional than before. It's a slow process, and it'll take time to completely recover from any kind of trauma, but progress is progress. Just don't keep it bottled up inside where it can fester.
I think it's really important to process it at first while engaging in distracting activities during the initial shock period. Later on, when ready, facing what happened and acknowledging it as painful as that is, an important step of healing process.
Journaling, talking them out with a professional or even a friend can help. Discussing the feelings and letting going of the hurtful emotions is a huge step in finding recovery,
By healing the trauma. Accepting what happened, accepting and validating our own emotions and grieving.
One of the stuck points that can result from trauma and prevent someone from moving forward stems from self-blame and 'I should have' or 'I shouldn't have'. A 'hindsight is 20/20' as they say. Sometimes this bias keeps people stuck in their traumatic memories, because they get stuck in 'If I had done this differently' or 'if I had/hadn't been there' and then they try to predict how the event would have gone if they had taken a different action. One of the possible solutions to this is to go through the memory as it happened- acknowledging the traumatic event, and the actions you took, and ride it all the way through. See the memory through to the end, and remind yourself that the event is over, and that you are still here. If you these memories become intrusive and invoke physical arousal responses, you may be experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and should seek counselling as soon as possible. The earlier trauma is treated, the easier it is to resolve the symptoms.
Talking it out in a group or with another person who has experienced the same thing is a good way. Take one day at a time.
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