Understanding the Impact of Trauma/Adverse Life Events- Minimizing the Impact
Many individuals impacted by trauma and adverse life experiences often struggle with the short term and long-term effects in a manner that greatly decreases the overall quality of life. Individuals often struggle to understand the different aspects of the body's response to trauma. Sadly, many individuals often feel like the body's reaction is abnormal, or dysfunctional in some way, when in fact the body is extremely resilient, and it is simply reacting normal to abnormal situations that have taken place.
Minimizing the Impact:
Often individuals minimize the impact of trauma, especially adverse life experiences. Many people often think of PTSD is the result of major trauma such as being exposed to combat situations. While that is true, adverse life experiences may contribute to anxiety/depression and trauma related symptoms for years until the individual seeks help. Sadly, many people are fearful of counseling and simply do not understand the power of processing trauma to remove trapped instinctual reactions and negative thought patterns.
The impact of adverse life events that often leads to anxiety/depressive symptoms may not meet the full criteria of PTSD, but similarities often play out across the lifespan greatly diminishing the quality of life. For example, attachment trauma may be the result of an emotionally abusive parent, a parent who was never present or was detached to the point that the child never felt wanted, important, or nurtured. The child often matures and is consumed with thoughts of not feeling important throughout adolescence and adulthood, often contributing to the inability to connect with others and isolates due to trust related issues, feelings of inferiority and lack of self-worth.
Below are some of the common negative core beliefs specific to attachment related trauma shared in counseling that often can only be corrected through processing adverse life events.
I am not good enough.
I am not important.
I am a failure.
I am unlovable.
My words have no power.
I am abandoned and alone.
I am invisible.
I am a bad person/kid.
The negative core beliefs often become the cloud that follows you, impacting your current perception of reality while interacting with others. Essentially, changing the way you view yourself, others, and the world. In addition, the negative core beliefs often can only be corrected after the associated negative emotional charge is processed in counseling, enabling the individual to have a changed felt sense about past experiences.
As always, our team of professionals at Retrospect Counseling have extensive training and knowledge to aid with healing from traumatic memories and adverse life experiences. Let us help you with your journey to healing.
By: Doug Strickland Ed.S., LPC-S, TA-S, CCTP, EMDR, BSP