Healing Week
Meaning Making
Managing Trauma Impact

Question

So how do you heal from trauma?

Answer

While there is no simple answer to this question, here is a summary of what we discussed this week that may help. First, safety and security is an important foundation to trauma recovery. If you are able, separate yourself from locations or people that trigger painful memories or perpetuate abuse. Establish a safe and nurturing environment to provide a strong foundation and minimize harm that can occur when you do not have a safe place to heal. Next, build your support network. This can be people in your personal life, trusted professionals, or a community of survivors. Processing trauma can be challenging at times, and is important to have people to fall back on to encourage you to keep going even when things get tough. When you feel ready to tell your story, it may be time to disclose and process your traumatic experience. We suggest doing this with a trained professional, but you can also seek out educational materials on your own, engage in journaling or other self-reflection activities, or share your experience with a trusted friend or family member. With the help of these modalities, challenge your negative internal dialogue that may be telling you that you are to blame or that perpetuates feelings of shame related to your experience. Recognize that violence is systemic and no matter what event occured, it is never your fault. If you experience challenging negative thoughts or symptoms, experiment with self-soothing and coping strategies to find what works for you. Learning to manage your emotions or symptoms can help you feel like you have more control over your life and future. Finally, look inwards with curiosity to reconnect to your true self as you find things that make you feel capable, hopeful, and powerful. While your trauma may always be a part of you, as you find more things that hold meaning to you, it will slowly become less central. Healing is an active process. It may be painful at points and you may have setbacks, but it is possible. Set goals for yourself, acknowledge small victories, and let people in. You deserve so much more than what you have experienced. Thank you for engaging in our healing week with us. We are here for you always.

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