Rather than speak to each session separately, I'd rather offer the key, combined take-away points that resonated with me.
First of all, I now understand more fully that trauma experiences are what happens to us. I know it's perhaps becoming cliché, but our experience of trauma is not about who we are. If anything, what trauma can actually do for us is lead us deep within ourselves. I'm more convinced now than ever that growth through a process of integration of the experiences we've suffered can lead us directly back to ourselves. Granted, we will not be as we were before. The growth that trauma offers us simply won't allow for that. So, for this first point, I'll share that I now fully trust that Post-Traumatic Growth is very real.
Secondly, a key point all three of our guests shared dealt with the complexity of trauma, and, of course, the complexity of our shared condition, PTSD. Trauma is a soul-wound. It injures us very deeply. The experiences themselves, having traumatized, do break apart all we thought we knew, and for a time will rob us of keeping hold on all we once thought we could trust.
That's why traumatic experience is so frightening to us. We've lost our ability to think through our experience, not only due to the biological impact of ending up with our nervous-system so desperately out of control, but also to process trauma involves digging into both our sub-conscious and unconscious minds to have any success at all of making it through. It takes courage to be willing to go into ourselves that deeply. I fully understand now how some simply haven't abandoned enough fear of themselves, and of trauma itself, to see this process all the way through.
To go where we need to go takes total trust. Therefore, our therapists, and the others we put together to help ourselves fully must take great care to ensure that we, your clients, are the ones who remain in control of the process. With therapists who've specialized in dealing with trauma issues, we have much skill in our court. Such healers are well-versed in the art of establishing a therapeutic relationship, of being with their clients as a guide to see us gently through, and such therapists are most willing to walk for awhile in life with us, gifted in the dance of simply holding space.
This takes me to the third point I took away from the webinar we've shared. To hold such space takes great skill, and it takes an understanding that we are whole persons. Best practice, therefore, must take it's wings through a Bio-Psycho-Social (Mind, Body, Spirit) treatment approach. When our helpers can view us through these eyes, they can help us deal with ourselves from all three angles. Because PTSD is judged as a mental-illness, some helping us might forget that a psychological injury to the body, mind, and spirit is involved.
Forth, we need treatment early, as soon following our traumatic experiences as is possible. There is a process and there are established treatment frameworks that help to hold the process of trauma integration together for us through treatment. Within the structure of a treatment model, we are granted a vision of the process.
The importance of early intervention can't be underemphasized. What was once offered solely in treatments, talk-therapy, is now proving not as helpful as other modalities can be. Talking and reliving our story of trauma, over-and-over-again, actually serves to reinjure us, and in reality, stifles our progress more than otherwise could be.
"We need to throw all we can at trauma." I heard that from each one of our guests. The 'Tri-phasic Trauma Treatment Model' and the 'Expressive Trauma Integration Model' both offer a valid framework with which we can rely to act as guidance to see us all the way through.
Any modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercise (TRE), Yogic Practices, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Exposure Therapy, Equine Therapy, Music Therapy, Art Therapy, EMDR, even incorporating Drama and Dance, can all be incorporated into the dynamic-resonance in treatment that both of these models provide.
We've come a long way over the ten years that I've been living with PTSD, myself, in this world. When I was first diagnosed in 2005, I found very little online, other than information shared from those who spoke about psychological trauma and PTSD as an outcome following their experiences due to war in Vietnam. It seems that over the past three years is when so much information started coming to us in fuller light. I'm grateful for that. Even though the battle has been so long, and even though in June I chose to give up the fight, having now survived my own suicide attempt, for me, now, there will be no turning back.
We are all, each of us, unique individuals. So, for the final take-away, I want to leave us with this understanding.
We've come into our trauma experiences through our own walks of life, and our traumas wound us through the very fact that we are so unique from one another. However, once we've confronted the injury itself, what happens in the mind, body, and spirit, the symptomatology of psychological trauma plays out with PTSD pretty much, in all cases, the same. I won't dive back into sharing all that here. But, will provide some links at the end of this writing to point out the key help made available to us, as shared through others, but now as well through our three wonderfully professional guests.
Coming home from trauma will take much courage, and many transitions. We were once told, "There is no cure." Perhaps, this still holds true, to some extent. But, we are gifted with something others have yet to face within themselves. We all now know our own human limits. And, with quality, professional guidance, in the presence of healers to hold our space, we can come home.
We'll be scarred. Our memories won't ever die. With guidance, however, we can learn to better manage ourselves, and over time, we'll find resiliency few will have opportunity to perhaps in their own human lives get to know.
Thank you again, Dr. Baranowsky, Dr. Berceli, and Dr. Kraybill.
As Always-Be Well. Mind Faithfully How You Go.
Disclaimer: These materials and resources are presented for educational purposes only. They are not a substitute for informed medical advice or training. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified health or mental health care provider. If you have concerns, contact your health care provider, mental health professional, or your community health centre.
Darren Gregory © 2016. All Rights Reserved
Certified: Community & Workplace Trauma Educator Traumatology Institute.
Associate Member American Academy Of Experts In Traumatic Stress.