Nov 1, 2022

Arrivals and Departures, Part 9: Five Questions that Every Trauma Survivor Asks

If you’re coming back from my last article — How can I fulfill my highest aspirations? —  welcome welcome back to the Arrivals and Departures series!

Brace yourself for the next — and final — phase in trauma recovery. This is truly the most wonderful set of moments and all of our work has led to this crescendo in people’s lives. Therapy is nearing the end at this critical juncture. Clients’ core beliefs about themselves leverage a deep sense of intrinsic worth and value. They defined how they wanted to show-up in the world and changed how they behaved in order to make their vision a reality.

They’ve experienced setbacks in their journey, at times embodying their most oppressive self-beliefs and starting the process of self-discovery once again. The more frequent the setbacks the quicker the rebound. They learned how to leverage a disappointment into a learning experience and to integrate bouncing back as part of their personhood and identity.

They enjoy the journey. They love their life, they love who they are. And they accept that life is full of difficult moments and wonderful moments and devastating moments and exhilarating moments. They are here for it. Why? Because they know that no matter comes their way — they trust themselves to get through it.

Clients will turn to me and then say — I’ve arrived. Our work is here done.

And that is the culmination of therapy, at least for now.

I then have the privilege of witnessing my clients continued growth from afar, unless they choose to include me.

Want to learn more about Believe In Yourself (Part 1) Click HERE

The next question they all take on is -

How can I leverage my wisdom to serve the greatest good?

This question indicates a move from survival to thriving to leading. Clients at this place in self-actualization are operating with a fully integrated identity in a life that is congruent with their values. And now, they are concerned with how to give back to their families, friends, and community. They are ready to lead by being a quiet example, a boisterous demonstrator, or something in between.

I’ve watched so many of my clients emerge from the confines of their trauma and give back to their community in ways only a trauma survivor could possibly do. Once the pathology of trauma is overcome, what remains is the resilience and the fortitude and the wisdom of living through atrocity, adapting your identity to survive, and then coming out the other side a wiser and more compassionate person.

My clients have gone on to be activists, artists, mothers, educators, farmers, florists, foster parents, therapists, judges, meditators, authors. You name it, they’ve done it. And they’ve done it both because of and in spite of what they’ve lived through and thrived from. I am grateful to experience these moments of self-actualization with so many people in my practice. I can’t imagine a life where this wasn’t part of my day and my identity.

I also can’t imagine a world where the world didn’t have the opportunity to experience my clients’ skills and assets and spirits. This is what trauma therapy is all about — giving people their lives back so they can show-up in the world exactly as they were always meant to — before trauma changed the game, clouded the lens, and took so much away.

The beauty of trauma therapy is that not only do we get back what was lost, but we then transform it into your greatest assets. The worst pain you’ve ever felt are the ingredients to your most gritty, driven, centered, and compassionate self. I know it because I’ve helped people take their lives back from the grips of trauma for ten years and I will continue to do so every day.

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