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Processing trauma? - October 21st 2016, 10:44 PM

I had a good session the other day, and we figured that I'm 'stuck' with unresolved trauma. So I have homework to do, and then after that, we can work on processing the trauma.

I haven't had time to ask my therapist yet, but does anyone know roughly what this might entail? Or how long it will take? I don't really have any other information to go on (like, I don't know if it will be EMDR (I have online counselling), and I don't have a diagnosis, though I suspect something along the lines of PTSD wouldn't surprise me). So yeah, if anyone can help me out a bit, it would be much appreciated!

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Re: Processing trauma? - October 21st 2016, 11:00 PM

I think what processing trauma entails depends on the person and therapist, type of trauma, and how much of it there is to work on. Some people do EMDR, and there's also talking about what you went through until you feel like you can't talk about it anymore. I think (I don't know about it) but there's a newer therapy people have talked about for trauma called Rapid Resolution therapy or something like that.

I've been with my therapist for two and a half years and we have spent this time working on being able to talk about it and get all of it out of my head; we haven't done much processing, though EMDR is the eventual plan.

One thing I know is that trauma work can take a while. I've read it can take between two and nine or ten plus years. It's hard because you're not only working on your past but you are dealing with everything happening in your present environment. Everyone is different but it can also get a lot worse before you begin improving again. Another thing I've noticed is that it is very hard to plan in terms of how or when you want to process because sometimes things come up during it and it can take you weeks or months to get back on track. For instance, while EMDR benefits some, it is also exhausting and potentially triggering in the beginning.

I assume since you and your therapist are beginning to process soon, it'll start out at a slow pace that you are hopefully comfortable with.

Feel free to PM me if you need anything.

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Re: Processing trauma? - October 26th 2016, 11:13 PM


Ii am glad you are hipefully going to get some help to help you deal with the trauma you have expereinced.

I am diagnosed with several mental health problems, one being PTSD due to a "traumatic past". When I was in a child and adolescent unit, I had EDMR but I didn't continue it because I found it so hard and exhausting. Sometimes I wish I had stuck it out because I know people have found it really beneficial. However when I was sectioned for a while, I spent two and a half years in hospital, for a while I was on an acute ward (no treatment apart from medication) but most of that time I was on a womens BPD low secure ward for DBT and I was forced to treatment with being on a section 3 and if I didn't comply with therapy there would be consequences from not having day leave, to no home leave, to having to take time out of the therapy but not allowed to do anything in the day etc and it impacted on our behavioural incentive plans so we all wanted to go to therapy because it meant we got something back.

You probably didn't need to know all of that but what I am getting at is I had psychology in on the DBT ward and had trauma therapy twice a week. For 100 minutes, twice a week, I would talk to my psychologist who was amazing, about a specific traumua I had been through each session. This was one of the toughest things I had ever done. We had to go into so much depth and it was exhausting and emotional and we also recorded it so then every day I had to listen back to what was said in the session for a week. Some people say this isn't helpful, some say it is. Talking about it was certainly helpful for me but I am not sure about the recording thing and listening back to it. Maybe that was because of the bad place I was in mentally most of the time. I also did exposure therapy here and I am currently on the waiting list as an out-patient for psychology to do trauma work (its 3 years long) and they have mentioned EMDR again.

Point is there are many different therapists and psychologists etc who have different ways of working. There are many approaches to helping someone deal with trauma, but go with it, go at your pace and really try and work with it. It is going to be hard and tiring but it may well save your life at the same time. I did the trauma work as an in-patient for about seventeen months in rehab and when I was on the adolescent ward, I did it for about four weeks before I stopped it. Now with waiting for psychology, I know it can go on for years. So it is hard and sometimes it makes it feel like its getting worse for you but sometimes it has to get worse before better, you know?

If you have any questions or anything, or just want to talk, please feel free to shoot me a PM. Also it would be lovely to hear what happens so if you want too, keep us updated and also come to us when it starts and when you are struggling. You are not alone in it!

Hope this helps a little. Thinking of you.

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Re: Processing trauma? - October 29th 2016, 12:18 AM

Processing Trama is different for everyone but I can tell you that for me it mostly entailed discussing the abuse, in graphic detail, until I couldn't discuss it any longer. This took a good couple of years and I still feel like I have more to process but I don't have a therapist I am comfortable doing it with.

In regards to talking about it, a good therapist won't force you to discuss things that you aren't quite ready to discuss. So, if there are details you aren't ready to discuss they shouldn't force you.

I do think that the more comfortable you are with a therapist the easier it is to talk to them about it. It's never easy but I've recently started seeing new therapists and I haven't been comfortable with them so discussing my abuse has been difficult and uncomfortable to the point that I have avoided discussing it.

So, ask yourself if you trust and like your therapist and go from there. Something I used to do was write memories down so I could read them out to my therapist. This helped with the more difficult memories and then I was able to talk about the feelings associated with it.

If you want you could also talk to your therapist about how she is going to help you process the trauma because different therapists have different methods.

Best of luck.

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Re: Processing trauma? - October 30th 2016, 04:25 PM

Thank you for your replies, all. I have been meaning to reply to this for a while now

I did manage to talk to my counsellor. She reassures me that we'll take things at my pace, and only when I am comfortable to do so. I also trust her, as I've been having sessions since April and feel more comfortable with her than my previous counsellor. I even managed to open up to her a bit about what I had been through too in my last sessions, so that's good.

I've found that I'll mostly likely be either talking about the abuse, or doing 'somatic experiencing'. I've never really talked about the abuse in great detail, even though I can remember quite a bit. I think my issue is that when I think about the abuse, or even type it, I just feel numb. I don't really experience any feelings towards it. I guess that's one of the reasons that I'll need to process the abuse (that and the fact I get triggered and I'm subconsciously re-living the events).

But yeah, I guess I'll need to take my time and look after myself, because it does sound difficult and my last session, while it was good I opened up a bit, it was really hard to do so. I also need to be more patient too since it sounds like processing trauma is an ongoing process.

Anyway, thanks again, I'll let you all know how it goes

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