It is important to remember that, no matter how severe our particular experiences of childhood trauma were, people can, and do, recover from such experiences if they undergo an appropriate form of therapy ; cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT (click here to read my article on how CBT can help) for example, is now well established by research findings to be a very effective treatment.
In analysing the recovery process from childhood trauma, it is possible to break it down into seven stages ; I present these stages below :
RECOVERY STAGES :
1) The first very important thing to do is to stop seeing ourselves as abnormal because of the effect our childhood trauma has had on us, but, instead, to see our symptoms/resultant behaviours as A NORMAL REACTION TO ABNORMAL EVENTS/EXPERIENCES.
It is very important to realize that it is highly probable that other people would have been affected in a very similar way to how we ourselves have been affected had they suffered the same adverse experiences that we did.
Coming to such a realization is, I think, important if we wish to keep up our self-esteem.
The kinds of symptoms and behaviours that childhood trauma can lead to are examined in detail in my book ‘The Devastating Effects Of Childhood Trauma’ – see below.
2) A very therapeutic effect can often be achieved by opening up about our traumatic experiences and how we feel they have affected us by talking to others we trust about such matters.
3) If at all possible, it is important that, during the recovery process, we are in an environment in which we feel safe and secure, and which is as stress – free as possible.
4) It is also extremely important that we try to resume normal everyday activities and interpersonal relationships as soon as possible, even if this requires some effort at first. Indeed, the research suggests recovery is very difficult if we do not re-establish human relationships. Also, we need to try to build some structure into our daily lives, as this provides a foundation of stability.
5) We need to accept that we may need much more rest than the average person – this is because the brain needs time to recover. In relation to this, getting the correct nutrients (click here to read my article on this) and sufficient sleep (I needed far more than 8 hours during my recovery) is also very important.
6) We also need to realize that while our experience of trauma entailed a great deal of suffering, many people not only recover from childhood trauma but develop as a human being in extremely positive ways as a result of it ; this phenomenon is known as post traumatic growth (click here to read my article on this).
7) Therapy should be seriously considered as there are now many studies which provide extremely solid evidence that therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be highly effective. There are many other therapies and self-help strategies, too; I examine these in my book ‘Therapies For The Effects Of Childhood Trauma’ (see below).
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David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 Child Abuse, Trauma and Recovery