Emotional Trauma

With the Support of a Trauma Therapist, You Can Recover From Emotional Trauma

Our brains have an incredibly ability to store emotional memories. In many ways, our keen memory is beneficial. We use our past experiences to learn how to stay safe and happy in the present, and our positive memories help us feel more connected to our environment and those around us. Unfortunately, our minds are often even better at storing negative memories than positive ones. When you go through a traumatic event, it can have a long-lasting effect on the way you think and the way you relate to the world. Emotional trauma can happen for a number of reasons and can manifest in many ways. Everyone’s experience with emotional trauma is different, so there isn’t one clear path to recovery. However, it is possible to break free from trauma and reclaim control over your thoughts and emotions, especially with the help of a trauma therapist. Recovering from emotional trauma requires you to rewire your brain and reframe your perspective, so it’s hard work. The benefits of overcoming trauma are well worth it, though.

Why Emotional Trauma Happens

Emotional or psychological trauma can happen after you live through a scary, distressing, or painful event. Even after you find physical safety from the trauma and are no longer experiencing the event, it can have a long-term effect on your emotional state. You may feel like you’ve permanently changed since the traumatic event, or you may constantly feel anxious or on edge.

Emotional trauma can happen after any event that makes you feel scared, unsafe, or helpless. The following are some of the most common causes of emotional trauma, but there are many other situations that can be traumatic as well:

  • Childhood abuse or neglect
  • Physical or sexual assault or violence
  • Earthquake, hurricane, fire, or other natural disaster
  • Serious car accident
  • Chronic or life-threatening medical diagnosis
  • Unexpected death of a loved one
  • Divorce

Emotional trauma can develop after a short-term event that puts you in immediate danger, like a natural disaster or an assault. It can also be caused by long-term life situations, such as childhood neglect or chronic illness. Events that happen in childhood may be particularly harmful for your emotional or psychological health as you grow up, but emotional trauma can happen at any age.

It’s also important to recognize that not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop long-term emotional trauma. There are many factors that can make someone more or less vulnerable to trauma, and there’s no right or wrong response to a traumatic event. Even if you and another person experienced the exact same event, you might not have the same reaction. Both responses are valid, though, and it can cause further harm to your mental health to compare your struggle with someone else’s.

How to Recover From Emotional Trauma

Emotional trauma can have a devastating effect on your life. You might find it hard to think about anything except the trauma, or you may go out of your way to avoid situations that remind you of the event. Social isolation and depressive symptoms are common after trauma, but pulling away from loved ones can make it even harder to recover.

If you’re showing signs of emotional trauma, it’s important that you reach out for the help and support you deserve. It can feel difficult to take steps to recover, especially in the beginning, but your well-being is worth it.

Here Are Four Things You Can Do to Start Your Road to Recovery

1. Open your mind to healing.

For many people, the very first step toward healing emotional trauma is acknowledging and accepting that they are struggling and that they deserve support. Sometimes, the psychological effects of trauma make you doubt whether or not you’re really experiencing symptoms. You might tell yourself that you’re crazy, you’re over-exaggerating your experience, or something is wrong with you.

As painful and overwhelming as these thoughts can be, do your best to dismiss them. Consider what you would tell a loved one who had been through something similar. You probably wouldn’t tell them that their trauma is invalid, so you shouldn’t say the same to yourself. Even if you have a hard time believing it, tell yourself that your pain is real, it isn’t your fault, and you deserve to heal. The more you remind yourself of this, the more you will come to truly believe it.

2. Practice self-care daily.

Depression or anxiety following trauma can make it difficult to complete your activities of daily living. Small acts of self-care can make a big difference in your mood, though. You don’t have to deep-clean your house, run a 5K, or spend excessive money to practice self-care. Instead, focus on immediate, achievable, and accessible tasks that can clear your mind and help you feel healthier.

Here are some ideas for self-care tasks and activities that can provide some relief in the midst of emotional trauma:

  • Listen to a favorite song
  • Walk around your block
  • Call or text a loved one
  • Clean one room in your home
  • Take a long shower or bath
  • Eat a healthy but delicious meal

3. Attend a support group.

Emotional trauma can feel very isolating, and you might have a hard time opening up to friends or family members. A support group offers a save, private environment for you to connect to others who know how you feel. Everyone is there because they’re struggling, so no one will judge you for expressing yourself.

During support group meetings, you can learn coping skills for dealing with difficult or triggering moments. You can speak out loud about what you’re going through, which can help you gain new insight. Many people find that it’s helpful just to be around others they can relate to. Realizing that you’re not alone can be a powerful experience when overcoming emotional trauma.

4. Work with a trauma therapist.

Trauma therapy with a licensed counselor is often the most effective way to recover from trauma. Therapy can serve a number of purposes and can be a valuable tool for healing.

If you need to process your trauma and the emotions attached to it, therapy provides a safe and supportive space for you to do so. By talking through what happened with your therapist, you can safely express your pain, anger, grief, or any other feelings that come up regarding the experience. Many people seek this emotional release after trauma, and therapy may be the healthiest place to find it.

Like a support group, your therapy session could also be an opportunity to develop coping skills. You may not be able to let go of your trauma entirely, so learning to navigate situations that bring up tough memories is a major stepping stone toward healing. You and your therapist might use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to identify and dismiss your unhealthy thoughts. Sometimes, therapists recommend meditation or other grounding techniques to help you stay calm in the presence of triggers.

Therapy can help you work toward your future goals, too. A traumatic event might have disrupted your life, forcing you to reevaluate the future you see for yourself. Even if the event itself didn’t affect your future in a tangible way, the emotional effects could change your vision of the future. During your counseling session, you and your therapist can talk about what you want out of life, and you can make a concrete plan for achieving your goals.

While your trauma was outside of your control, you have the power to heal and to live a happy, healthy life. Menachem Psychotherapy Group offers counseling for emotional trauma, PTSD, and many other mental health concerns. Reach out to us today to connect with a trauma therapist in Los Angeles.

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