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How to Deal with Trauma

Being in a co-regulated relationship with a caregiver is a right to have at birth. Being in this type of relationship can teach you how to attune to and navigate your own emotions. In childhood trauma, this process of learning to navigate and trust your own emotions is disrupted.

As a child, you are attuned to the caregivers you have. When caregivers are overbearing, more focused on their needs, or inattentive, a child still finds ways to attach to them to survive.

Trauma is adjusting to a situation that is threatening. It is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. Trauma occurs when your resources are overwhelmed, and you feel helpless. Your nervous system evaluates the environment’s threat and safety (this is not a conscious process). Trauma can make you more attuned to picking up threats—so much so that you can perceive non-threats in the environment as threats. The nature of trauma is that a person relives the past as if it is the present.

To learn more about how to deal with trauma and to receive trauma therapy, call New Directions Mental Health today at 724.374.7414. At New Directions Mental Health, our trauma therapists understand the science behind trauma and how it affects everyone differently.

Understanding Trauma

Children who do not focus on their own needs learn to attune to the needs of others, dismissing their feelings and needs as adults. If something goes wrong in a child’s relationship with caregivers, they blame themselves. Blaming themselves gives a false sense of control and a hope of survival. It does not feel safe for disruptions of attachment to be the caregivers’ fault.

How the child relates to their caregivers sets the blueprint for how they interact in the rest of their relationships. Therefore, how you learn to attach and bond as a child is carried through your life into your close interpersonal relationships.

Internalizing this blame can create feelings of shame, avoidance, disconnection, and self-doubt into adulthood. When faced with this shame around trauma, it is essential to remember that your response to trauma was designed to save your life. During trauma, your body prepares you to die with the least amount of pain.

Because people can carry these “survival strategies” into their adult relationships, they may have difficulty connecting with others in ways that they really want to. This may look like frustration with themselves for repeating the same patterns, difficulty expressing their needs and wants in relationships, or feeling overly focused on what the other needs and wants at the expense of their own needs.

Healing and Dealing with Trauma

When trauma occurs, one’s expectations of the world are shattered, and the world and the people in it no longer feel safe. The healing process involves recognizing that our original view of the world or experience was distorted and creating a new one. When thinking about how to deal with trauma, there are three steps:

  • Understanding and acknowledging the trauma
  • Processing the trauma
  • Creating a new story around the trauma

Additionally, having a safe, entrusted relationship helps you heal from the impacts of the trauma. This healing relationship could be with a therapist, partner, friend, or family member. This is primarily due to co-regulation and securely feeling attached. It may involve disclosing the trauma, but it is not necessary. The key is that it is a relationship that allows you to feel profoundly safe.

Another option for dealing with your trauma, use mindfulness to ground your body in the here and now. Mindfulness helps shift the focus to what is happening inside you in the present moment. This helps to move away from the survival need of hyper-focusing on others or changes in the environment.

Therapy can also help you feel your feelings safely and pay attention to your feelings and needs without the past invading. Part of working through trauma is experiencing painful emotions and knowing that you are safe. You can have feelings, and no one will get hurt.

How to Treatment Trauma

One way to treat traumatic situations is through trauma-focused therapy. Trauma-focused therapies help individuals change how they think about themselves, their relationships, and the world around them by allowing them to explore the story behind the traumatic memory in a safe environment. They can learn to process the memories in a way that does not cause distress. It is about reconnecting with their body and learning to understand, accept, and integrate what happened in the past.

At New Directions Mental Health, we specialize in offering trauma therapy for individuals from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas who have experienced trauma. Our trauma therapists are experienced and knowledgeable about trauma-focused treatments. If you or someone you know is struggling with the effects of trauma, please contact us today.

Call New Directions Mental Health for Trauma Therapy in Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Don’t let the effects of trauma control your life. Learning how to deal with trauma is a journey, and you don’t need to walk it alone. Contact New Directions Mental Health for trauma therapy in Pennsylvania. Our experienced trauma therapists are ready to guide you on healing. Call us today at 724.374.7414 or reach out online to learn more about our trauma therapy services.