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CENTERS PIECE: Tell your trauma story and begin to heal - Odessa American: Lifestyle

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CENTERS PIECE: Tell your trauma story and begin to heal

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Posted: Monday, November 11, 2019 3:30 am

Most people have a few memories that are painful to talk about. This can include heartbreak, loss, regret, and other tragedies. The memories can also carry deep emotions that are sometimes locked deep inside our minds. It can be very upsetting to revisit that memory. However, telling your trauma story in a therapeutic setting can have healing effects.

A trauma narrative is a psychological technique that is used to help survivors or trauma make sense of their experiences. Traumatic memories can be so emotional that the smallest triggers could trigger a negative reaction, such as a panic attack. 

Survivors try their best to avoid these triggers, but they can become crippling in day to day activities. 

In a safe environment with a counselor trained in these techniques, the trauma experience loses the emotional hold over you.

The story of the traumatic experience is told repeatedly through verbal, written, and/or artistic means with the guidance of the counselor. Sharing this narrative allows you to organize the memories, make them manageable, and diminish the emotions attached to them. 

By telling your story, you will discover that you have nothing to hide and you do not need to be ashamed of what happened to you.

Also, by telling your trauma narrative, you will be able to correct your mistaken beliefs about the trauma. You might blame yourself for what happened, but you might find that what happened to you was situational; you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.   

By telling your story several times, you will find that it gets easier each time you tell it and you will become able to tolerate the memory.

As you tell your trauma narrative, you will find that you are not broken and this trauma does not have to define you. Your reactions to the trauma begin to make sense and you can organize them in your mind.

The re-telling of the trauma helps your brain re-organize the events and this can be detected in the brain (the hippocampus).

The first part of the trauma narrative is simply telling the facts about the experience. The second part involves re-telling about the trauma and adding thoughts and feelings. The final step is to discuss the worst moments, feelings, and coming up with some conclusions. The counselor will help you come to these emotional conclusions and will help you interpret your feelings.

A trained counselor is the one to guide you through this process. Others who are not trained in this particular technique might not be able to effectively handle your emotional responses to the trauma; so please do not try this on your own.

The largest benefit of the trauma narrative is you will begin to process and try to make sense out of the experience. You will begin to feel that the past trauma cannot hurt you, nor does it have to have a hold over your future. It is possible to move on.

If you feel you can benefit from this therapy modality, please contact Centers for Children and Families at 432-570-1084.



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