HEALING OF Traumatic Experiences
psychological wounds and hurts from traumatic experiences or losses overshadow
our capacity for fulfilling relationships and for selflove. This can result
in an inability to give and receive love, in isolation and fear of others, of
certain situations and the challenges of everyday life.
In this very individual and
spiritual healing work we bring consciousness and understanding into traumatic
experiences of the past, so that we can again participate in life freely
, with joy and trust.
psychological effects ,
possible healing and integration
experiences leave wounds in the soul, which usually heal
with more difficulties than physical wounds. People who have suffered
traumatic experiences often feel as if their soul has been torn apart
into many parts. They live with entirely contrary feelings
and thoughts: irritable and frozen, flooded with memories and empty
of memories, full of shame and rage.
In many situations
can people experience violence in a way which will affect them traumatically:
with abuse, mistreatment, rape or with shocklike experiences like traffic accidents,
kidnapping, or catastrophies. Also the loss of a beloved person can be
traumatic, and even the witnessing of violence with human beings or animals
can cause deep traumatic disturbances.
people manage by themselves to process traumatic experiences. Why this is
so, psychologists cannot say yet. One thing is certain: It is less a matter of
how robust the soul of a man is, and more a matter of what
happens to him/her, and how it happens, and whether the circumstances
are especially shocking or humiliating. It is also decisive
how the environment reacts, if it supports the victim after the traumatic
experience , if it denies the happening, or even assigns
a joint guilt.
course the age is decisive, too, and the capacity to understand the traumatic
experience, to process and to talk about it. The earlier a trauma happens,
the deeper it will influence the attitude towards life and the selfworth
of a person.
effects of various traumatic experiences are called
in psychotherapy "post traumatic stress syndrom".
There exists a complex picture
of these symptoms: flashbacks- sudden reliving of the traumatic situation, nightmares,
emotional numbness and missing feelings, depressions, anxieties and sleep disturbances;
avoidance of situations and behaviours which could stir up memories of the trauma,
low tolerance of stress situations and low selfworth in daily life, inability
to have fulfilling human relationships, feelings of shame and guilt.
key to understanding the posttraumatic disturbances is basically hidden in the
traumatic situation itself.
experience breaks the entire psychological organisational
structure of a person. The soul is overcharged and overwhelmed,
and finally breaks down if it cannot process or digest the
many traumatized people happens "Introjection": The victim identifies
with the aggressor. Whatever has been done to him/her is unbearable , and
he/she can hardly imagine that a human being can act like this. Therefore the
victim takes the act of the aggressor into himself, ascribes it to himself. And
the victim also takes on the unconscious guilt of the aggressor, which often he
himself does not feel, so that the aggression and the guilt continue to
live in his soul like a foreign body.
in the family trauma originates. Children are abused or mistreated. The common
form of violence against children is neglect: when children are not nourished
well, receive poor medical care or are not protected against dangers. Traumatic
experiences can also originate from deprivation, a deficiency in care and safety,
produced by loss, death or separation of parents or beloved ones.
If sexual abuse results in psychological
disturbance later on depends on the situation. A forced act is particularly
traumatic if the abuse happens over longer periods of time, if more than one person
is involved, or if the offender is the father. In his book the german psychoanalyst
Matthias Hirsch writes that it is less the individual act which is destructive,
but more the fact that the child becomes deeply confused in his feelings
and his judgements about reality. If the abuse is denied within the family, the
child finds himself in a similar situation as the torture victim within the society:
he has experienced something which nobody wants to realize and perhaps nobody
will even believe. Therefore it has to bury the experience in a place in
his soul from where nothing will ever come to the surface, to the conscious, he
In a situation in which our life
or psychological integrity is threatened, or in which we feel that we are threatened,
there are only two instinctive reactions: fight or flight.
the abused child can neither escape nor fight, as all victims of a traumatic
situation.An escape is pretending to be dead, not feeling anything, in order
not to be overwhelmed by painful feelings; to leave the situation with one´s consciousness,
while the body experiences it, in order not to experience it consciously.
psychotherapy this is called " disassociation", if the traumatic experience
is split up, or "derealisation" if someone escapes into a different,
phantasized world. These are defence mechanisms in the traumatic situation, which
can become symptoms of a psychological disturbance later on, when one does not
feel it, feels anaesthesized, feels cold or numb.
cologne dream expert Gottfried Fischer says: The
symptoms which are developed as result of trauma, indicate what has happened to
the victim,as well as how the person has tried to cope with the situation.
Scientists presume that
the cognitive consciousness is being switched off during the traumatic experience.
Just as one cannot speak in a shock, it is possible that the shocking experience
is not stored in verbal memory, but as body sensations, images or agonizing
emotions. Therefore in therapy one can only approach the reality of the
victim, because it is difficult to discriminate between images, fantasies
and memories. But this approach needs to be done in every trauma therapy. The
therapist has to be fearless about uncovering a trauma, and has to help
the patient to liberate himself of guilt feelings and the results of the experienced
of trauma needs a new kind of therapy: client and
therapist need to be able to move together. All rigid theories
and regulations can do only harm; honest compassion , new
ways of therapy and meditation are needed for a healing
of traumatic experiences.
artistic and bodyoriented methods need to be used as well as therapeutic communication
and therapeutic techniques.
of trauma results is according to the kind of trauma. We discriminate between
trauma as result of onetime sudden experiences like accidents, catastrophies,
or the sudden death of a beloved person; and trauma in connection with
long term encroachments like torture, abuse or mistreatment.
of the first type are to be treated with therapy which focuses on the traumatic
situation itself, and the conscious development of qualities needed to cope
with similar situations.Good results are accomplished with therapies which clients
re-experience the traumatic situation again and again , and in this way
the experienced becomes less and less painful and threatening.This is called
a "method of confrontation".
uses sometimes the same mechanism which the person himself used as protection
in the situation itself, e.g. "disassociation". Hypnotherapy takes
up methods from classical hypnosis and works with altered states of consciousness
.It uses the technique of active dissociation, in which the person repeatedly
steps into the experience as in a movie, and steps out again when it gets
overwhelming. He may also be encouraged to breathe into the terror
and tension, in order to dissolve the old numbness. In a traumatic situation
a person becomes frozen in a movement or action, because he is overwhelmed
by the happening. Bodyoriented methods help to release frozen tensions in
breathing or trembling. They serve the purpose to complete incomplete actions
or movements and to become physically able to act and respond in a healthy way.
With trauma like torture
or abuse a psychotherapeutic bodywork often serves the purpose
to re-open and revive the traumatized zones.
idea of activating blocked self healing resources is also behind a method
of the psychologist Francine Shapiro. In this therapy the patient follows
the fast fingermovements of the therapist with his eyes , while re-experiencing
the traumatic situation. According to psychological studies this method
releases burdening painful emotions and negative thoughts. This is explained
in this way: in the actual traumatic situation the brain cannot process
the experience. In the therapeutic division of awareness a neural connection
is created which makes it possible to come to an integration
of the traumatic experience.
integration of the event is really
the goal of every trauma therapy: that emotions from the traumatic
situation can no longer overpower the person; that the trauma can
become a memory, something that has happened but which does
no longer terrorize the person; that the victim becomes someone
who has experienced and survived something in his past.
treating the trauma itself we need most of all to help the victim to find
their way in this world and their body . Psychotherapy talks about
reactivating their resources, those qualities that the person had available before
his traumatic experience. Previous friends, previous activity and life force.
For the person who lives in a longterm suffering because of his trauma,
personal history has stopped in a shock. He who manages to revive previous forces
and to reconnect with previous relations and to form new relations,
can heal his wounds. He regains his life story in which the trauma can become
a memory from the past.
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