Stages of Healing Trauma


Over the years the trauma treatment theorists have identified stages of healing trauma. What’s written are the stages that people I’ve worked with have spoken of. See if they resonate with you. If you want to read about Phase Oriented Treatment for PTSD click here.

Functioning Fine (thank you very much!)

  • Many people have experiences of themselves as coping fine before their trauma erupts into awareness
  • It can feel quite different from what life is like after the time erupts
  • These times before the PTSD gets activated we are coping with life’s stressors
  • Many people might actually not know that their history would come forward and disrupt them so they are quite surprised and confused when it happens
  • For some people it’s an abrupt change. One day things were good and then next day all hell broke loose
  • Others find there’s this slow disruption in their daily functioning where they gradually “get worse” and nothing gets better (don’t despair though! with good support and help trauma and PTSD will be better!)

Fault Line Rupture

  • This period when something happens can be hugely disorienting
  • What you were able to cope with before can suddenly become overwhelming and terrifying
  • ex: someone who was able to travel and roam the world is now filled with terror about leaving home
  • ex: someone who would get massages every week now feels able to integrate being touched
  • Many people will describe this period in terms of feeling dislocated. They might say I don’t know who I am anymore, or what I’m doing, and perhaps most disruptive is not knowing why I can’t cope the same way anymore
  • This time on the journey is best spent learning how to dis-identify from your internal cacophony, separating out the various ways you’ve managed and protected your life from those parts that had to be exiled from your system in order to survive life

Putting Pieces Together Again – this time differently

  • Once Humpty Dumpty feel off the wall life was different
  • This is a turbulent time for people. What used to work doesn’t seem to work in the same way.
  • It can be frustrating and you can easily feel out of control
  • It’s a time where you will be learning how to use your own inner thoughts, feelings, and sensations to guide you
  • During this time you will befriend parts of yourself that you never knew you had
  • The problem is that this befriending process will feel alien and scary to the former ways of managing and protecting yourself
  • In this new way of being you’ll probably feel unprotected and vulnerable
  • Remember, you’re charting a new course! One in which you will more fully enjoy living in your own skin

Letting Go of Self Identity

  • Moments in life when you can dis-identify from your parts so much you relax into your essence
  • Personality issues decrease
  • Life becomes even more enjoyable
  • And even better, fear recedes


Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply