Here are a few basic points to remember about healing trauma.
- Many people are able to resolve even serious trauma disorders like PTSD in a short time. Take this as a sign of hope.
- You can’t change what happened, but you can change its imprint on you. You can heal. This will not happen automatically, but it can happen if you give yourself over to the process of healing.
- You may need to try many different tools and therapies before finding the combination that works best for you, and this combination will likely change at different times.
- If you were traumatized early in life, it probably interrupted your development in ways, and your healing process will not be as simple as unplugging your responses to trauma triggers or easing your memories. There is makeup work to do that may involve many different dimensions of your life (your self-concept, confidence, relationships, trust, ability to take initiative, empowerment, and so on).
- You don’t need to do it alone. Being reconnected to your trauma may bring up the feeling of being alone, because that feeling is threaded into the trauma itself. You may very well have been alone then. You don’t need to be alone now.
- Celebrate your progress, however small. Each step of healing is a victory.
- It’s never too late to heal and never too late to have some happiness.
Adapted from Healing From Trauma: A Survivor’s Guide for Understanding Your Symptoms and Reclaiming Your Life, by Jasmin Lee Cori, MS, LPC (Da Capo, 2008)