Nov 14, 2022

Arrivals and Departures, Part 3: Five Questions that Every Trauma Survivor Asks

If you’re coming back from my last article — Why am I broken and how can I fix myself - Part 1 —  welcome back to the Arrivals and Departures series!

We started exploring how this question manifests in the early stages of therapy. It’s a HUGE part of the early stages of healing. That’s why I want to devote one more video to explaining why this question is key and how to morph it into something that will actually FACILITATE HEALING.  

This question — Why am I broken and how can I fix myself? is the most challenging and important concepts we will deconstruct in trauma therapy. That’s the case because this question is the foundation onto which we build our therapeutic relationship. It’s the foundation onto which we develop our approach to healing. And, it’s the foundation onto which you are determining your life choices.  

Want to learn more about What is mental health, exactly? Click HERE

In response to this question, one of the most important messages I convey in the early stages of trauma therapy is
  • Your being is perfect.
  • Your being is whole.
  • Your being is integrated.

When I first share this message, clients bow their heads, roll their eyes, laugh, tell me “that’s not true.” Their mind and body reject these truths. That’s OK, it’s all part of the process. That’s why we do body-based work and not just cognitively-based work. If I asked my clients to repeat these words thousands of times. If I told them these truths every session. They would eventually believe it from the neck up. But, their body from the neck down would never buy. Why is that?

Words are not the currency of the body. Words are the currency of the mind. The body has a whole different currency for healing and learning the language of your body is a huge part of the early stages of trauma therapy.  

  • Your being is perfect.
  • Your being is whole.
  • Your being is integrated.

This message must be both understood cognitively — physically — and spiritually. We do a lot of work — body-based, relationally, and cognitively — to reprogram your brain and body to know these facts as truth and then - most importantly - to embody that truth in your daily life and in your relationships. Once the client’s core identity reflects these beliefs and others, like —  as I am good, I am wise, I am lovable — they are then living in a personhood that is clear and simple.

Clients no longer see themselves as inherently flawed and ask questions from that vantage point. Instead of asking questions like — “Why am I so weak and unconfident?”  — they ask questions like — “How did my past experiences teach me to placate people who hurt me?”    

They seek the answers from a centered, holistic sense of self.  And in that seeking they discover that their life choices reflect coping strategies that  were once adaptive, but are no adaptive based on their changing circumstances. They begin to shift their strategies to reflect who they are today rather than who they were in the past.

  • Things begin to change for the better.
  • Life starts to feel lighter and brighter.

The next question emerges from that light and bright place. Check out the next article in the Arrivals and Departures series to learn more!

If you want to talk to a licensed therapist, click HERE to learn more about Dr. Cammy