Founder of CERP, Psychoanalyst, France
Received date: December 01, 2017; Accepted date: December 11, 2017; Published date: December 14, 2017
Citation: Tomasella S (2017) Editorial: Reborn After Trauma. Trauma Acute Care Vol.2:62. doi: 10.21767/2476-2105.100062
Copyright: © 2017 Tomasella S. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Traumatized people remain frozen in the traumatic situation, with the impression that a part of them is dead. They tend to superimpose their trauma on what they live. Trauma affects sensitivity, imagination, sleep, self-confidence, as well as the notion of time. In the most serious cases, a psychic traumatism causes nightmares, dissociation, depersonalization, coldness, insensitivity, addictions, delinquency, violence (self-mutilation), anorexia, bulimia with obesity, etc.
The seven stages of trauma
Step 1: The violence of the event causes a shock wave. It plunges the individual into stupor and immobilizes them (physical paralysis).
Step 2: The impact is manifested first by a break-in, which creates a breach in the person's protective capabilities. This sudden violence causes fear, emotional emptiness and emotional anaesthesia.
Step 3: A kind of inanity follows the incident, with a strong amazement (inability to think).
Step 4: When the individual regains his senses, they go through a phase of negation. They refuse the difficult reality and fail to believe it, as it seems impossible and unreal.
Step 5: Follows a phase of agitation, confusion and emotional chaos. The fragmentary images and sensations of the painful event collide in them and assail them.
Step 6: Comes a moment of great relaxation, exhaustion or even collapse with a deep and heavy sadness, and a period of depression.
Step 7: The “assimilation” of the trauma begins only after, by a long period of mourning, then by the possibility of proposing a clear, precise and personal account of the event .
Which therapeutic approach?
To perceive, identify and name what is happening in oneself is the first step towards healing.
Everyone chooses the therapeutic approach that best suits them. Each patient is unique, they experienced the trauma personally. It is therefore not possible to impose general solutions. It is a matter of listening to them, of exploring with them the event that hurt them and the answer they have been able to give, so that they can invent a personal way to heal it. They will then be able to tell a story of a moment they lived but which no longer has a disruptive effect on them: they can speak of it as a past that has really passed an experience with a beginning and an end.
What should the therapist be vigilant about?
The practitioner pays great attention on the one hand to the body feelings expressed by the patient (sensations and emotions), on the other hand to the defences she or he has put in place to get out of it. These defences are expensive in psychic energy and loss of sensitivity (desensitization) too. They are no longer adapted to what she/he lives today.
What are the main resources to recover?
• Develop awareness of the unfortunate incident and it’s unfolding.
• Recover the memory of sensations and emotions experienced during the drama.
• Express the feelings (sadness, anger, revolt, etc.) that it gives birth to.
• Gradually gaining distance by situating it at a specific time in the past, with a before and after.
• Resume contact with the movement of his desire and the possibility of making projects.
The most obvious sign of healing concerns the possibility of evoking the painful event without trying to hide or escape it, to remember it and to speak about it without lasting anxiety and without being overtaken by the emotions it wakes up. In addition, the fear of an inevitable repetition of the drama has faded or disappeared .
What kind of healing can we talk about?
This is a psychic healing. The patient is no longer obsessed or haunted by the tragedy. The mental fixation has yielded. They also regain confidence in themselves and in their creative abilities, and then become able to engage themselves in relationships.
To conclude, here is a simple definition of trauma: a person is shattered by an event or series of events that exceed them. From now on, they are never the same. The trauma may have passed, but it is still replayed in memories and continues in their reorganized nervous system. To be born again after a trauma is not only to be born again different, but especially to be reborn to life, to become alive again .
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