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When working through trauma is it normal to feel like you've taken 5 steps backwards despite just struggling to take one step forward?

2 Answers
Last Updated: 12/21/2020 at 4:14am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Polly Letsch, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.

Top Rated Answers
October 13th, 2020 8:36pm
Hello there. Dealing with trauma and how a person goes through the process of recovering from it, is a very individual and different experience for each person. It is important to have patience with yourself and treat yourself with kindness after experiencing a traumatic event. You could think about the supportive loving things you might say to your best friend if they were hypothetically going through a similar event. Self care is extremely important at a time like this. It is important not to put pressure on yourself and it is important not to allow yourself to feel guilty because you have not achieved as much as you think you should have by a certain time period. It is also important not to compare yourself to another person's timeline of recovery. You are traveling on your own independent journey that is special and unique to only you. It's ok if your timeline of recovery is different from someone else's or does not arrive at your expected time schedule. Continue to be patient with yourself and if you need additional support recovering from trauma I can help refer you to someone specialized who can possibly give you the additional support you may need. And I am always here to listen and support you as well. You are not alone!
December 21st, 2020 4:14am
It is not only normal, it is expected to have such a feeling. Working through trauma may feel like walking through a swamp sometimes - very slowly and with great effort. The one step forward is the baby step, that requires time to integrate with our bodily and mind systems. That is why it may feel like the steps backward are being taken - the progress takes time. At any rate, our brain is designed to automatically heal trauma. So, with time, some healing will naturally occur. We can help our brain by doing special exercises related to traumatic events, so that the trauma processing can happen.