Most likely, you have heard of the term, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or its acronym PTSD. This is when the brain’s capacity to regulate is exceeded and splits off what it cannot handle neurologically like a circuit breaker.
The way this energy and information is stored in the brain
does not have a sense of time or completion. It is then activated at a later
time by even the remotest of associations releasing the energy in the body
making it feel like it is happening in the present moment, even if the incident
occurred decades ago.
PTSD can be a debilitating disorder that some individuals never resolve due to not receiving adequate treatment. Furthermore, the mental health community was not very adept at treating PTSD until the last ten to twenty years. Even now, only a small percentage of therapists are sufficiently trained in advanced trauma therapy.
In trauma, there is loss. For the victim of childhood abuse,
their innocence was taken away. Those experiencing a car accident or assault
often lose their sense of safety and security. Whatever the case, trauma can be
a thief stealing some of the most important aspects of one’s life.
Contrastingly, over a decade ago, a concept was developed
through research known as Post Traumatic Growth. These studies show how trauma
can produce strengths, resiliencies, and deeper meaning as a result of going
through these negative events. Moreover, the trauma needs to be significant
enough to create these capacities.
The awareness of these studies has had a positive impact in
working with individuals with trauma. Experiencing trauma is no longer seen as
completely negative. Yes. They were horrible events in some instances, and no
one wants to diminish that in any way. But having knowledge you can benefit in
some way by going through these events is tremendously impactful in helping
When I point out some of the strengths my clients have
developed as a result of surviving trauma, they are typically taken aback. But
as we continue to examine this, there is a growing sense of pride they feel at
having been resilient enough to overcome these incidents. In addition, they can
now lay claim to the strengths they have developed, such as independence,
perceptiveness, courage, etc.
There is a level of truth to the saying, “Whatever doesn’t
kill you makes you stronger.” Again, as someone who spends the majority of
their days helping individuals heal from the emotional wounds incurred by
trauma, I am in no way diminishing its impact. However, I have seen untold good
come from highlighting people’s strengths that helped them survive these
Although experiencing the worst that can happen in life can
shatter a person’s faith and sense of purpose, making it through to the other
side can generate a deeper level of meaning and connection to the Divine. If
you have experienced trauma recently or are in the early stages of your
healing, don’t be discouraged you cannot connect to this yet. This occurs
towards the later stage of healing from trauma.
After working with thousands of clients who have experienced
trauma, I can confidently tell you we are wired to heal. No matter what you
have been through you can heal from it. Think about it. If you survived the event,
you can heal from it. Moreover, you can come out the other side better than
There is an Ernest Hemingway quote I tell clients regularly,
“The world breaks everyone, and afterwards some grow strong at the broken
places.” This quote exemplifies the concept of Post Traumatic Growth. If you
have been through trauma of any kind and would like to experience healing and
your own Post Traumatic Growth, please reach out to us today. We offer in
office or online counseling to resolve any form of trauma you have encountered.
You can also follow us on our social media platforms to
obtain useful information about mental health related issues at Gateway
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