There are a vast number of articles on this site examining the effects of child trauma and possible therapies for these effects. The articles tend to be about 500-800 words long. As we do not always feel up to reading a lot of information, I thought I would write a short article which simply provides 10 tips about how we can help ourselves recover from the emotional effects of childhood trauma. So, without further ado, here are those 10 top tips :
1) It is easy to rely on unhealthy coping mechanisms in order to cope with emotional turmoil (eg alcohol, drugs, self-harm, rage etc). Try to gradually replace these with healthy ones (eg exercise, creativity, meditation, hypnotherapy, breathing exercises). remember that unhealthy coping mechanisms are counter-productive over the long-term (and very often over the short-term too).
2) Suffering child trauma very often leaves us feeling inadequate and worthless. Remember that this feeling has been caused by the traumatic experiences and does not reflect the real you.
3) The experience of childhood trauma can leave us feeling powerless and helpless. Remember you can choose to start exercising control over your own life just like anybody else
4) Treat yourself with kindness and compassion – your inner child has been hurt quite enough and now deserves to be happy and content. Give yourself the love and care you might well have missed out on.
5) Try to express anger appropriately as uncontrolled anger backfires and often ends up mainly hurting yourself.
6) Remember that there is absolutely no shame whatsoever in asking others for help – in fact, it is the brave thing to do and people should respect you for it. Sources of help may include friends or professionals in mental health.
7) Child trauma greatly undermines confidence – choose to start believing in yourself.
8) Child trauma also often leaves us feeling very negative about ourselves in general and that we are a ‘bad’ person. Remember, these thoughts are the result of our adverse childhood experiences and do not reflect reality.
9) Rebuild self-esteem – you are as important and worthy of respect as anybody else.
10) Read about and research any emotional difficulties you may have (you have clearly already begun that process by reading this!). There is even a name for how reading about our condition acts as therapy – it is called BIBLIOTHERAPY.
I hope you have found these suggestions beneficial.
Best wishes, David Hosier BSc Hons ; MSc ; PGDE(FAHE).