The number of people who have endured some trauma in their lives is staggering. Realistically, most people donʼt get through their lives without it. Some suffer in silence, others are fortunate to have a good support system. If someone elseʼs experience is worse than yours, it does not invalidate your own.
As a mental health counselor, my dream would be to give everyone the benefit of the optimal trauma therapies. Clearly, many times that will not happen. Therefore, I would like to share some techniques you can try on your own. Feel free to sample until you find what works for you:
– Safe place exercise: Conjure up an image of a place where you feel safe. It
can be real or imagined. Take deep breaths while you think about this safe place.
– Guided imagery: Books and CDs are available.
– Yoga. The Childʼs Pose is particularly good: you kneel; then stretch your body
and hands forward; your palms and forehead touch the floor.
– Keep a journal. There can be huge benefit in pouring out your feelings on
paper, including the benefits of reviewing and observing your progress.
– Walk, run, or join an exercise class.
– Sign up for an organized sport.
– Get a pet (but only if you love animals).
– Get a massage.
– Try drawing or painting, free-style. You donʼt have to produce good work; this is
about emotional expression.
– Do the above with music.
– Go dancing.
– Tell somebody what happened.
Top researchers in the field emphasize that trauma is stored in the body. Some people dissociate (which can involve anything from simple daydreaming to developing multiple personalities). The above techniques can help combat this. If you are unable or unwilling to seek the services of a professional therapist, I highly recommend the above. In the event that you later utilize therapy, these techniques can maximize its benefit.