Trauma Therapy ~ 4 Important Things to Look For

To heal from trauma means finally dealing with the source of the trauma, whether it’s childhood abuse or neglect, combat experiences, or a natural disaster or a violent assault. How can this be done, however, when trauma provokes such negative and overwhelming feelings – feelings that most try hard to keep safely buried?

Therapy can be a vital step, helping the person feel safe enough to revisit their trauma without being retraumatized in the process. Getting the right support is key, however. Not only is it important to connect with a therapist well-versed in effective therapeutic approaches, it’s also vital to seek out a person with whom you feel a personal connection.

Multiple studies confirm that a person who feels good about their relationship with their therapist is more likely to have a positive outcome. A recent study from Bowling Green State University researchers takes the concept a step further, noting that a deep connection between a therapist and patient can lead to “sacred moments” that increase well-being on both sides.

With that in mind, here are four things to look for to make your therapeutic experience most effective:

Knowledge. Your therapist should, of course, be up to date on treatment options – techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches new ways of thinking of old experiences; neurofeedback, which can help rewire the brain to overcome trauma-induced changes; equine therapy, which can be a helpful supplement for those who find it hard to trust human connections; and EMDR, which can help with the process of moving beyond the past.

Continue reading “Trauma Therapy ~ 4 Important Things to Look For”

Does life make you feel like an insecure piece of fluff?

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 Usually, when someone is referred to as ‘confident‘ they are referring to self-confidence.

 Self-confidence is faith in one’s own abilities. People with high self-confidence typically have little fear of the unknown, are able to stand up for what they believe in, and have the courage to risk embarrassment (for instance, by giving a presentation to a large group of people). One who is self-confident is not necessarily loud, brash, or reckless.

Confidence as a psychological quality is related to, but distinct from, self-esteem. Self-esteem is usually lost as a result of other losses. Losing confidence is no longer trusting in the ability to perform.

My self-confidence and self-esteem went down the toilet very shortly after my first hospitalization back in the mid-1990’s and never really returned, even to this day. The gigantic hands of depression held onto me ever so tight, I lost my thinking process, the career I built and mostly what I lost was me.

I went from working full-time as an accounting supervisor for a large manufacturing corporation, to essentially a ‘piece of fluff. People routinely came to me for answers, and when in the hospital, I spent my days sitting in solitude or meandering the hospital halls to pass the time. Was this the life I was sentenced to?

It was incredible the change in me; virtually a child standing behind her mother’s dress frightened to ask or speak up. I was even nervous ordering a pizza via the telephone. Previously, I was forever the one who would enter a room, introduce herself, perform a speech and feel right at ease.

Mental illness does this to a human being; and instead of possessing that comfortable leather skin that gets us through the rough situations, we find ourselves now only dressed in chiffon. You feel flawed.

These are rough roads and undeserved journeys. Some of us have taken these roads/journeys repeatedly, and question when will the “under construction” terminate, giving way to smooth, fresh pavement.

It took years to recover and land back on my feet. I revisited the working world, however, only some of the self-confidence and self-esteem returned; just enough to get me by. Starting all over and learning new computer systems and methods were incredibly difficult, yet I managed to endure employment for 6 years before dark depression struck once again and now find myself unable to work.

I recognize I still lack it, and living jobless makes a difference, away from the working world, not connected to people sometimes hurls you into your own little world where you get to escape and become too comfortable. At times, I’d still rather hide, but I know I can’t, therefore, compelled to be somewhat “self-confident” looking and sounding.

Actually, this self-esteem/confidence thing is a lot of self-talk, and the support has to be there as you begin the “baby steps”.

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2017

(edited and repost)

Quote: Emotional Abuse

My therapist was the first person who ever validated my feelings, allowed me to speak, and believed what troubled me throughout my adult years due to Emotional Abuse.  My mother is a Narcissist and void of empathy, never taking the time or ignoring any feelings that I had. The only words out of her mouth were cruel and nasty.