There is a continuum going from simple distress to post traumatic stress. At a certain time, the internal capacity of the person to cope with the cause of stress can not engage. This turning point differs for all of us and is dependent on our physiology, temperament, personal and family history and also on the presence of a support system. When our body-mind reaches its limits we become contracted and lose contact with our natural internal resources and perspective. Most trauma include some grief work. This is an opportunity to discover and develop our sense of resiliency, flexibility and inner strength; to embrace joy and appreciate life more fully.
TRAUMA AND POST TRAUMATIC STRESS
Trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event or stigma. Bad things can happen to everyone. Traumatic events and PTSD can feel devastating.
You may have had an accident, been in a war zone, experienced childhood or domestic abuse, been a victim of violence, returned from military service, recovering from injury, been diagnosed with a serious illness, suffer from compassion fatigue or you’ve experienced a terrible event you can’t get over.
Individual and group work are very effective for trauma. The most important is the experience of a sense of safety and trust with the therapist and/or the group. Very refined techniques that are in addition incorporating the wisdom of the body such as EMDR, YOGA-NIDRA are very useful. The reason is that our body is carrying all our memories on a subconscious level. What we can process on an intellectual level and emotional level needs to be experienced and released through the body. First and foremost, the mind-body needs to feel safe (relaxation, imagery techniques, balanced breath) so that the brain can process with safety the traumatic incidents.
Relating skillfully to GRIEF and finding a place to accept and release our pain is very important. It will bring a deep sense of peace and connectedness to ourselves, others and spirit. A renewed creativity, reorganization and meaningful loving engagement with life is the natural conclusion of grief.
The losses can be small or vast. Loss of loved ones, of animal companions, home, health, homeland, the loss of our dreams, the loss of our connection with our gifts, ancestors. ….To name just a few.
There are major cultural barriers to grief. The interdiction and suppression of emotions in general, and grief in particular, has recently been linked to the pervasive sense of spiritual drought, emotional confusion and certain illnesses we experience in our life. There is no time for grief in our busy, consumer culture.
There are different manifestations of Grief : Although grief responses generally differ from one person to another, many predictable manifestations of grief exist. These manifestations occur on physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual levels…
There are several phases of the Grieving process: 1 . Multiple natural and confusing feelings are coming and going :
- Avoidance, Shock and Denial
- Anger at Self, at others, at life, at God….
- Sadness, grief, pain, guilt
- Bargaining, with Self, God, Nature…
- Gradually and at our own pace, we need to accept the situation, our feelings, the changes in our lives and the feelings and behaviors of others.
- People have different ways to grieve… it depends also of their culture, gender, temperament and relationship to the departed..
- Previous losses, feelings of abandonment/separation from past experiences may surface and increase the intensity of the feelings experienced.
- Closure (burial. ritual, journal writing, talking to others…)
- Reinvestment in Life…Learning to live with the loss, developing new habits, new identities, new ways of relating..
- Internalizing the gifts and teachings of the relationship
- Choosing Life over Death is not disloyal to the departed; it is honoring the gift of Joy, Love, Creativity that were shared!