• Owning your resilience: reducing trauma-influenced thinking

  • I recently watched the documentary “Brave Miss World”.  Its the story of Linor Abargil, a woman who lived through being raped six weeks before she went on to win the Miss World pageant.   Linor  used her fame to tell her story, and to help other women who had been sexually assaulted to find their own voice and to speak out.  

    ​Watching, I thought of that moment, the minute the act of the trauma ends.  How for Linor, the second that the rape was over, that first breath in, and every breath after, was driven by her inner strength, her inner fight.  To me, that was what the film documented, how she moved into owning her resilience, celebrating it, and sharing it.

    ​I thought of all the people over the years I have worked with who have been through trauma.  How no matter where they were in their healing, I knew their strength and resilience, even when they could not.  

    Talking about trauma with a therapist is really about teasing out grief and other emotions and making sure things are assigned correctly.   Often, a person who has lived through trauma can struggle with blending  healthy thoughts with trauma-influenced responses.  An example of this is the healthy grieving thought:  “I hate that this happened to me”  becoming, in the traumatized brain,   “I deserved this”,  or,  “I did something to cause this“.  Many times, a person who has been through a trauma doesn’t realize that their thoughts, often all of their thoughts, are shifted in this way to become trauma-influenced thoughts.    My job is to help you identify the effects of trauma and work through that influence, and to reach the space where you more than see and feel your own resilience, but celebrate it.