Being in therapeutic practice I have seen that all people who come with depression, anxiety and / or are struggling to deal with their emotions and addictions have unresolved trauma at the core.
Many do not even know that they have trauma, especially when it comes to developmental trauma and childhood neglect, lack of attunement and deprivation which is far less visible than the repercussions of abuse yet incredibly damaging and implicit in affecting healthy physiological development and optimal social and nervous system functioning. Developmental trauma absolutely needs external mirroring from another and is NOT a DIY thing. How can you be a mirror for others in a way that heals rather than re-traumatises and harms?
We have a culture which is quite shaming towards trauma. Survivors are often portrayed in derogatory ways as being stuck in victimhood. We live in a culture that favours a fast and quick candy trip rather than slow and steady, proper, professional working through issues and facing and integrating painful emotions. To be trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive is to be aware that the first step of healing trauma is to allow the person to express their experience. To listen. To validate. To truly feel with them what they have experienced. To enter their world. And yes to feel their pain. They must be seen and the reality of their experience cannot for one moment be denied. Your authentic attunement and heart-based response is so important to the healing process for another. Trauma does NOT get healed via reasoning nor does it respond to logic. Only limbic resonance and emotional awareness.
If you’re not aware of your own emotions and have full acceptance of every emotion within yourself (and every human) you may NOT be the right person to hold space for another’s grief, their anger, their paralyzing fear or their gut-wrenching hurt. If you practice or offer ungrounded, spiritual modalities you are NOT the right person to hold space for trauma and it is a duty of care to refer a person in trauma to someone who is trauma-informed. Don’t let your ego get in the way and remember that you are here to serve the highest good of the person, not yourself, and act in integrity.
The inherent nature of trauma causes one to hide, so being seen and accepted is so important, as is providing safe spaces for the confusion and tendency to re-experience and be unconsciously drawn to re-create traumatising events. A facilitator must be aware of these potential playouts and have the maturity and discipline to not enter but rather support a true healing. For example, many women who have experienced CSA (childhood sexual abuse) can vulnerably find themselves in the hands of male tantric predators who exploit their trauma for their own gain rather than support their healing and a healthy re-imprinting. For this reason I believe it should be mandatory for every practitioner to be certified in some kind of trauma training because trauma can suddenly arise in ANY healing process.
Whether you’re a practitioner or not, it’s inevitable though that you will at some stage be directly faced with someone’s trauma. When someone confides in you, or starts to have memories arise of a trauma that they were previously not aware of, or at all ready to integrate, it is useful to know how to work with this in a supportive rather than antagonising way. The worst thing you can do is shut this down especially through platitudes or reasoning. In the height of arising trauma the person is impeccably sensitive to energy and can feel everything. They feel you. They need you. Validate and be present. Authentic surrender to the process. Let yourself enter the shared energy field in a way that their trauma speaks to you on all levels and informs you of how to truly serve. Stay anchored and centered in yourself as you do so. Together, we can do this.