My specialization is in healing past childhood traumas that many people have experienced. When we talk about childhood trauma, people begin immediately to excuse their caretaker(s) because we have a sense that what they endured was not as bad as what some other children endure. However, that realization has little bearing on how you internalized the messages of your self-worth. An example would be; asking if it matter to the self-esteem of a child how often they are told by their parent that they are “stupid?” Is the damage done after the first time? Sometimes the damage is done with one time. But for many it is magnified by more negative assessments of the child. It may be worse for the child to have a constant repetition of that fact, no doubt, but much damage is done by even the first time. Plus memory blocks out repetition of painful events after the first one. (Parents who have done this in a fit of anger or frustration and know it is not how they really feel about their child would be smart to apologize and let the truth be known to that child.”
Signs that you may be dealing with some sort of trauma in your life:
- Rejecting the flashes of events from childhood as being real or of concern for having an impact on your current life
- Childhood events that are remembered and that seem to hold an overarching pattern for your life
- Sense that you are not the author of your life, and that this is not how you would choose to live.
- Sense of sadness or depression that is not debilitating but seems to be always present so that you do not have a very high sense of joy or happiness.
- Staying super busy to avoid the negative self-statements that run in the back of your head.
Most of the people I see that have childhood trauma can identify the negative self-talk that keeps running around in their head. They usually keep themselves very busy because they have found that to be the best way to avoid hearing the self-talk. Addictions can come with childhood abuse, but just as often the person who has experienced abuse as a child steers clear of harmful addictive behavior because they had enough lack-of-control on their lives as children.
How I can help? I do a lot of development of positive life images, positive life events and positive metaphors and similes that help create in the traumatized person a sense of belonging, strength, safety and being loved. Not until those are in place do I, if necessary for the client, discuss how to integrate the past into the story of their present life. I use a modified EMDR process that helps the brain stay in the present, in the room with me, while the person brings to mind both the positive and if necessary the negative images.
I really like helping heal these kinds of hurts. I see patients have a new lease on their life with this approach to healing.