Healing and fear

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Trigger warning: This Post might be triggering for some, please do not continue if you are very upset at the moment.

As a therapist. I want to help others, ultimately healing wounds. But, healing isn’t always easy. Getting better is complicated and sometimes scary. To look back at what caused the hurt, means going there again, risking the old feelings flooding you.

For that reason, it can help to prepare as much as possible. Before going back, it’s necessary to be sure that the memories won’t overwhelm you . When fear arises, there are ways to make going back safer:

First: The body and mind does everything it can to protect itself, and no matter the circumstances, you have survived so far . Second: You do not have to face the past all at once: it’s possible to work with some things and see how that goes before digging deeper. For example, if you have several traumatic memories you might start with a memory you’re aware of, that is unpleasant to think about, but not so much so that you can’t imagine thinking about it. In some cases it is recommended to think about the worse scenario, like when someone with OCD thinks about touching a dirty toilet, but with complex PTSD there is usually several traumas that hasn’t been integrated yet, and therefore taking it slowly might be wiser.

Third: It is possible to learn tools and test if they will help you cope with challenges in the now. Every time you use a new coping mechanism, it will be easier to use it next time, so by practicing new skills again and again, it can feels safer to work with underlying issues. Also: fear is normal, it wants to protect us. It’s good to know that something inside of you only wants the best for you, that fear has had its function and still will be there to protect you. It is no shame in withdrawing every now and again, sometimes it’s okay to rest and not do everything at once.

5 thoughts on “Healing and fear

    Marty said:
    January 27, 2020 at 15:28

    I do not see a way of healing without integrating our trauma. Exposure therapy can harm a client if used when a client is not ready.

    For me meditation was a safe secure place to handle my trauma. It is a virtual exposure therapy which you can choose to indirectly face your trauma.

    Say we are assaulted and suffer severe PTSD. While we meditate we could remember what the weather was like, how we arrived at the place.

    We can take small steps or just repair the mind and calm the nervous system for a couple months.

      mirrorgirl responded:
      January 27, 2020 at 16:41

      Thank you for this insightful comment, and I am so glad you have found that meditation works for you!

      I absolutely agree that one should not use exposure therapy too early, that can be harmful.

    Marty said:
    January 27, 2020 at 17:58

    I think if you want to impact peoples healing you need to get them to take up a daily practice

    Introduce a twenty minute meditation daily practice and you have boosted the chance of improving a 1000%

    Action moves is out of victimhood

    Daily action builds momentum

    Therapist do not use exercise especially aerobic exercise as a therapeutic healing practice

    When the body pushes itself towards achievement the mind shares that energy and positivity

      mirrorgirl responded:
      January 27, 2020 at 19:39

      Another great comment with quite concrete suggestions. To use just twenty minutes is certainly possible for lots, and if not even five minutes is better than nothing. By making practicing a habit, no matter which skill pen wants to improve, things will slowly get you closer to managing your challenges.
      I absolutely agree in that daily exercise is helpful, but using ones body can be triggering for some people.

        Marty said:
        January 27, 2020 at 20:49

        Triggers have a bad connotation

        I lived that avoid triggers at all costs and that made suffering grow strong

        Triggers became opportunities to heal.

        PTSD at its scariest, when triggers fire, cortisol and adrenaline, is also at its weakest

        It is our own defense mechanism

        Fight or flight fires, adrenaline and cortisol plus all the other preparation for a perceived lethal threat happens

        No danger is really there

        For me my father, my abuser has been dead for decades

        I am in no danger

        So with my breath I can deplete the cortisol and adrenaline, activating my para sympathetic nervous system

        I can mechanically calm my nervous system quickly

        Integration happens. Healing. Is underway

        If I can focus and stay present, triggers lose power

        Fear is in the judgments.

        No fear of exists inside our mechanism

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