I’ve worked with trauma survivors for over 10 years. As my practice continued to refine, I became more and more interested in finding themes in my clients’ experiences. Because where there are themes there are common experiences for healing and wellness. And as a therapist, when I can find themes for healing, that is also an indication that people may have similar milestones in their healing process. I can then craft highly effective therapy experiences for clients around those shared milestones.
I am so excited to share some of these common themes with you. If you’re ready to learn about the shared experiences of trauma survivors in therapy, stay tuned and keep on watching!
I am calling this series Arrivals and Departures.
The title of this series emerged from a sentence that clients use when they finish therapy. It’s not often when clients use the same phrases and words, but when they do — I pay attention big time. Because what that means is that they have a common understanding about a topic — trauma recovery — that is usually quite individualized.
The vast majority of my clients say the same sentence in our last trauma therapy session —
Hundreds upon hundreds of people tell me on their last session — they use these exact words —
I have arrived.
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And their arrival is evident in every fiber of their being. You can see it in the deep breaths that send oxygen coursing through their body. You can see their arrival in their relaxed shoulders, their loose jaw. Their skin is glowing and healthy. Their eyes connect steadfastly with mine and they are proud. They stand tall. They are smiling. Their arrival is a life force.
This arrival looks different for each client. Regardless though of the differences, which we will definitely talk about — almost every person who’s completed therapy with me indicates an ARRIVAL upon their walk out the therapy door.
Naturally, I imagine we’re all then wondering — what was their point of departure and how was the journey to this arrival?
In short, the journey is as turbulent as it is wholly worth it. As a full-time trauma therapist, I now expect turbulence and live with that as my professional baseline.
But, for clients, they are coming in with their experience and their experience only. Therefore, turbulence could be something novel for them, particularly turbulence in the context of therapy.
Across this turbulent journey, I’ve seen a thread among my clients that bonds their experience. And that thread is in the form of questions that punctuated the process of recovery from trauma.
In the last 10 years, I’ve identified 5 questions that I’ve seen frame this process over and over again. We’ll start with the question that brings people into trauma therapy and we will end with the life-changing question that people leave with.
- Why am I broken and how can I fix myself?
- What defined my brokenness and who did it serve?
- How do I choose to self-define?
- How can I fulfill my highest aspirations?
- How can I leverage my wisdom to serve the greatest good?
Do you want to learn in detail about these five questions and the way they can help YOU on your journey to recovery from trauma? Check out the other articles in this series and you will get all the details!
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