Is it possible to overcome the impact of trauma with therapy?
In the last thirty years psychotherapy research has focused intensely on how best to help people who have experienced trauma. As a result of these efforts a great deal has been learned regarding how to effectively resolve the psychological impact of trauma. Numerous research studies have shown that for many people psychotherapy can help restore a sense of peace, drastically reduce anxiety, enhance trust and a feeling of well being. Different forms of therapy are often used to achieve these results when working with trauma symptoms, but most often (no matter the specific form of therapy utilised) it will involve reviewing the event(s) that led to trauma, and helping the individual recover a sense of calm and self-mastery when confronted with such painful memories. When one can do this successfully, the trauma loses much of its disruptive power. Moreover, many people find that if they can uncover a meaningful life lesson within the traumatic experience, some way in which they have grown stronger or wiser, which promotes healing.
Some individuals would rather not discuss the trauma. When this is the case it requires an alternate approach be taken. Recent research shows much promise when such clients learn to focus on the present, ‘live in moment’ some would say, and keep focused on what is currently going well in life. At times people will say that very little is going well, so there is not much in that regard to focus upon. When this is the case a brief discussion often uncovers that there are at least a few more positive aspects of their current life than they had first identified. Moreover, by focusing even on a few, sometimes apparently insignificant, strengths and pleasures one finds that very quickly this part of life expands.