Childhood Trauma – Where to begin healing

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Childhood trauma bring with it a vast array of symptoms and behavior issues.

It can feel overwhelming and often we don’t know where to start our healing process. This can be very demotivating.

Often we may find our selves in a state of fight or flight, unable to explain what we are experiencing. We may also have trouble listening and concentrating on what is being said and often struggle to see our own thinking and behavior patterns.

All of the above can make it difficult for us to get diagnosed and even listen to the insights of a therapist.

A good therapist, after listening to you over a few sessions will recognize the nature of the issue. But you may not hear or accept what they have to say as you are in too much of a stimulated or a tuned out state to really connect or listen.

Often the therapist will put you on a medication first to get you to calm down, before therapy can really start. This may be helpful in some cases.

However there is another aspect we really need to look at before we are completely ready for therapy to start.

That is to release pent up emotions we’ve been carrying since childhood. The emotions we ignore and push to a side, remains with us and often cause us to be anxious and flighty.

In this state, trying to get us to lower our guard and be open to therapy is not the easiest thing to do.

That is why its important to start with a emotional and energetic release.

One of the best ways to release pent up emotions from childhood is to revisit the child aspect within us and allow it to express all its emotions, needs and wants.

This is known as inner child reparenting therapy. Some therapists are trained to do this with people, but often this can be done on our own as well through visualization techniques.

We as the adult self can hold space for the child aspect of us to come forth and express their feelings, needs and wants that they were never able to express.

While doing the above, we can pay close attention to where in the body the emotion is being held and what is the associated belief we are carrying. It may be a belief like ‘I are not good enough’ or ‘ I am not lovable’.

Once we identify the inner belief we can tell the child self something like “You believe that you not good enough. But you are amazing and valuable. I am always here with you and for you”. This provides attunement ( reflecting back to the child self their belief) and provide reassurance that they are taken care of and that their belief is false.

The more you engage with the child aspect the more the beliefs will come to the surface and the more you are able to release the associated energies and emotions.

You can engage the imagination to provide suitable experiences for the inner child to reverse their negative beliefs by meeting their needs.

Once this therapy is done for sometime, you will find that you feel an inner peace. This is enough peace for you to start observing your own thoughts and behaviors with more clarity. This also allows you to work more easily with a therapist and be very transparent with them and listen to what they have to say.

You will find that therapy moves and progresses quicker now that you are in a state of calm.

This is only the initial stage, but it is a crucial one in my opinion when working on childhood trauma.

~Thanks for reading~

Healing the inner child to release childhood trauma

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Very few people escape their childhoods without some kind of trauma. Most of us experience shocks to our system early on in life, this includes our own birth where we experience our first detachment or abandonment experience according to psychology.

The trauma can become specially prominent and painful when they are caused from not so natural causes like abuse, loss, physical and emotional abandonment and neglect.

Though in most cases these incidents seem not very significant at the surface, for a child that does not have much reasoning capacity, they may internalize these experiences along with the belief that they were responsible for causing the incident.

This often cause the child to harbor emotions of shame, guilt, lack of personal worth, low self esteem and feelings of not being good enough. With these beliefs and emotions, living life can be quite painful and difficult.

Most people are able to live happily despite experiencing some trauma in early life. But if the incidents were very severe and emotionally traumatic, the negative beliefs and emotions that were triggered during the traumatic incidents can still run our lives today.

You often hear life coaches talk about changing the subconious programs and limiting beliefs. This is referring to releasing the negative emotions that we’ve been holding onto specially from early life and changing the associated beliefs that have been etched into our subconscious.

Reprogramming the subconscious is not always easy however. Specially in the case where the childhood was deprived of certain key experiences for a prolong periods of time.

When there was trauma or deprivation, a child aspect of you gets left behind, unable to progress to the next stage of development. The rest of you grow into adulthood. But there is this sense of having two different aspects of you, a child you and an adult you.

A child like side to you is rebellious, playful, easily angered, cheeky and seek attention. The adult aspect of you can be quite serious and even responsible. But when the inner child aspect is strong in someone this aspect tends to take over them more often.

Psychologists will often refer to this from the perspective of lack of brain connection in different part of the brain. Emotional and rational aspects of the brain not operating harmoniously. .

This often cause people to self sabotage and not act and behave in a responsible way.

The best therapy in my experience for this situation is inner child therapy. This may be through a psychotherapist through role playing or by your self through visualisation.

It involves connecting to the child aspect of you and treating that aspect as their own individual. Then the adult aspect of you asking the inner child aspect to express their needs, wants and emotions.

The adult you then create space for your inner child to express them selves without any barriers and meet their needs by taking action in the now or by visualizing doing certain things.

As you get more comfortable doing this therapy, the inner child aspect of you come forth more easily with what they need and want.

If anyone has had a loss or abandonment in early life then they would have a lot of trust issues and these types of people could benefit from doing this exercise on their own as working with anyone can be a uncomfortable experience for them. Otherwise we can employ the help of a psychotherapist.

It is a very creative experience. You can create situations and scenarios to meet the need of the inner child as you continue with this therapy. The inner child aspect of you will express exactly what they are wanting from you.

This technique is very powerful as it helps you release emotions as well as change your core belief systems as the inner child aspect gets more and more of their needs met.

Most of the time, the inner child just wants to be heard and understood.

This therapy can be supplemented with medication in some cases. It is always good to seek the help of a professional.

Many people who have tried this therapy have had very positive results and permanent changes.

A good reference that I can recommend is the book “Journey from Abandonment to Healing” by Susan Anderson.

Thanks for reading~~

Integrating the self to become more balanced

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I think all of us are skewed in how we think, see the world and how we behave. It might be too much to the left or too much to the right of the bell curve of integration. Perfectly balanced people will sit right in the centre of the curve, but these types of people are rare.

We may be too artistic and less logical, too intuitive and less practical, too pessimistic and less optimistic, too perfectionist and less accepting or vise versa.

Integration means to bring ourselves closer to the middle of that bell curve, where we have a balance of both aspects. It won’t be a perfect balance, but it will be close.

That is why its always good to improve aspects of our selves that are weak.

I think many people instinctively do this. But at times of stress they tend to fall back on to their default mode, unless they practice and develop new habits.

Coming to a middle path by releasing all extreme thinking and behaviors is the inner work we are advised to do in many healing modalities, therapy and spirituality.

Even though what is not natural to you feels uncomfortable at the beginning when you engage in these things it brings you a sense of satisfaction in the long run.

Often counselors try to bring our thinking into balance though CBT therapy by balancing how we interpret certain situations. This is so the situation is seen not from a lense of extreme thinking, but a balanced point of view, where good and bad are both acknowledged.

Most times we feel a sense of balance just by being in our community as the group as a collective balance out each others extremes. The group can also challenge each person to deal with their extremities and bring balance to each individual person. This can be smooth or rough depending on how the situation plays out.

It takes constant awareness of the self to reset the balance as we very easily get thrown off it due to external circumstances that trigger our default extremities.

Exercise, meditation and self assessment/correction can be very helpful in this process of integration.

Thanks for reading~~