Trauma Blocking

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Trauma is a word we hear a lot more recently and it still remains a deeply misunderstood concept. Most often it is seen as a diagnostic term within the medical model of trying to understand the complexities of human behaviour and interactions. In a very simple set of terms, trauma is any event or situation a younger version of us was unable to understand, deal with, cope with or integrate. It could have been abuse, parental neglect, deep sense of insecurity, inability to move beyond a certain perception that was not the big picture, rejection, abandonment, poverty, relationship breakdowns, chronic or acute health conditions, parental mental illness, loss of a loved one or a cherished possession…..the list is endless. Its easy to sweep it under the carpet by attributing it to faulty or maladaptive coping. However as long as trauma remains in the psyche as a deeply unresolved part of ourselves, we will continue to resort to patterns of behaviour that keep us dysfunctional and away from becoming aware of or realizing our highest potential. As a therapist who has worked with adverse childhood experiences for two decades and with people who have recovered through therapy from deep trauma I have always helped clients first become aware of the concept called TRAUMA BLOCKING. Yesterday on the Gottman Institute page I found a lovely infographic I have used as the picture on my post to explain this further. When people seek help, it is usually for a pattern of behaviour that keeps them limited or stuck and not the trauma itself. Trauma Blocking is an attempt to block the impact or effects of a trauma especially when it seems overwhelming. It is a way in which we try to cope with or manage the residual painful feelings of the trauma. For many people religion and spirituality (blind faith) is a classical pattern, obsessive faith in divination and predictive tools like astrology, Binge watching, emotional eating, compulsive shopping often glorified as retail therapy, addictions to substances including alcohol, prescription medication, narcotic substances, workaholism and toxic relationships are all forms of trauma blocking. These patterns give a temporary high but pull us deeper into despair.What does this mean?A part of me, that still is unable to handle the effects of the abuse or trauma, the unresolved emotions and pain around the incident or incidents is seeking to heal and integrate with the current, more functional part of me.Working through trauma is a deeply liberating and yet systematic process. There are no quick fixes and motivational gyan that can make it possible. Time does not heal. Intention, acceptance, insight followed by experience and an ability to forgive the self and love ourselves unconditionally are important. Toxic positive states actually make this process more difficult to access, process and integrate. Staying a victim, blaming another, holding onto the anger, guilt and remorse, expecting divine retribution while holding onto self righteous anger…..are all ways in which we give away our power and delay the healing and integration. There are many ways to work through trauma and each person will resonate with a particular modality or set of modalities, Some will find solace in talk therapies, others in subconscious modalities, some in spiritual modalities. No matter what you choose, remember that you may need to revisit your trauma with fresh eyes and perspectives several times before you find a complete integration. Take time to reflect on your repetitive patterns that are probably Trauma Blocking. I will continue to write on this topic ( am not taking any more clients for at least 6 months because of a huge case overload _ so I cannot help through one on one sessions). The articles are a small way in which I can show you a direction for self work. I hope this helps. (Some aspects of these were covered in the Keeping It Real Series I did with my friend Anu and they are available on YouTube and on Anu Hasan’s Facebook Page and on her Instagram Account. )

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