Trauma, the Body, and Going Slow
About 10 years ago, I went to see a therapist who asked me really deep, probing and personal questions, in the initial session. This was too fast, too soon, and I was already in a state of overwhelm. I left the session in floods of tears and with no idea how to soothe myself or be with the intensity of sensation and emotions in my body. I didn't find this session helpful and looking back now I see that there was an absence of trauma-informed knowledge and care. I didn't go back to this therapist and found another one.
Here are some of my key learnings, from the last 15 years, having worked in the mental health sector, addiction field, and now sexuality and coaching space (both working 1:1 and with groups).
- Many of us are carrying trauma that impacts our lives in varying degrees
- Working with trauma needs to include the body at some point of the healing journey, as we heal primarily in and through the body and not just the rational brain
- At some point of the healing journey, we can move into a new phase of learning how to re-wire, for states of joy, pleasure, contentment, ease and thriving. This new phase comes with its own vulnerability and support needs, as we let go of parts of the old identity, that once served us and was our survival strategy, which can feel unsafe and unfamiliar to us
- Different therapeutic approaches are needed at different points in time, depending on what we are ready for, what internal resources we have to process unresolved childhood wounds or current life issues, what energy levels we have, financial resources we do or don’t have, the time and life circumstances that would afford time to work through things
- It’s important to take the time to establish trust in a supportive relationship, with a coach or therapist or group. So many of us may have not learned how to establish trust and be discerning of what we share, how much we share and who we choose to share both our desires and wounds with. If we share too much, too soon, with little capacity to be with bodily and emotional discomfort, this can be re-traumatising for some and counter-productive for others
- It is also important, as part of the healing journey, to take time to learn how to self-soothe, self-regulate, ground, and learn tools to release stress and charge from the body, in ways that work for our bodies. Learning how to track how our body's response will help us find a pace that works in the healing process. Learning how to slow down in the process, allows time to integrate what is coming up.
- Education on what trauma is and how it can show up in our body, goes a long way when it comes to understanding and the healing process
I see a huge gap in trauma knowledge and awareness in the field of healing and self-development. And this is painful to see, because I care deeply about people getting the right support, when they finally take that important step to get support.
I also see there is a lot of trauma and body-based knowledge, wisdom and teachings available and I hope that this continues to grow and become more widely accessible.
My work as a coach is trauma-informed, and this means is that I place importance on putting in some foundations first, before we get into the deeper work of exploring your subconscious, through body-based tools.
It also means that I want you to get the most appropriate support and to be held in the right container. So if that’s not me, then we will talk about this and explore where to get trauma specialist help from.