People often come to therapy to work through a trauma; a past or present experience is plaguing them and taking up too much space in themselves. Perhaps they have spent too much time avoiding the after-effects of the negative experience, and it is now creating trouble in their relationships or with the way that they regulate their emotions.
The goal in trying to heal from traumatic experiences is to remove the emotional load. That isn’t to say that recalling the event or being triggered doesn’t bring those emotions up; the emotions that are tied to a negative experience become embedded in our survival brain in order to forewarn us as to a possible re-occurence. What healing from trauma does is allow us to live with it; integrating it into our story, allowing it to co-exist with our strength, resilience and courage.
We can work through our negative experiences by going to therapy, writing about them, thinking about them when we are walking in nature. We can decide to no longer be the secret keeper and tell our trusted loved ones about what happened to us. We can decide that the trauma is no longer going to carry so much weight. By processing the negative experience, we remove its emotional load – leaving more room for seeking joy.
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