Counselor's Corner: Healing from Trauma
→What is trauma?
A deeply distressing experience, or a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time.
Trauma can occur one time like death, natural disasters or accidents, or trauma can be prolonged and repetitive like abusive relationships, family with addictions, or combat.
Trauma that causes the most mental health issues are prolonged and repeated traumas and trauma that occurs from people especially parent-child relationships.
→What is a traumatic event?
Extreme stress that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope and overwhelms a person emotionally, cognitively and physically.
→Symptoms of trauma:
· Easily startled
· Sensitive to certain noises
· Feeling on edge
· Overwhelming feelings of guilt
· Intrusive thoughts of trauma
· Disconnected from others and difficulty trusting others
· Difficulty handling stress
· Emotional numbness
→Long-term effects of trauma can include:
· Substance and alcohol abuse
· Avoidance of anything related to the trauma
· Dissociative disorders
· Eating disorders
· Difficulty with normal functioning such as work or relationships
Although the traumatic experience may be over, the person’s reaction may not be.
Healing from trauma takes time. Practicing self-care will be of upmost importance in recovery of trauma.
→Practical tips for naturally healing from trauma:
1. Begin and end each day with God. Sit quietly before the Lord and allow Him to minister to your wounds. Pray that God would completely heal you from past trauma in your life and heal all memories associated with the trauma. If you a believer in Jesus Christ ask the God delivers you from the spirit of trauma and any other spirits associated with the spirit of trauma.
∙Pray the following prayer or use as a guide:
Father, I thank you that you are my healer and that you care about everything that happens to me. I ask you today that you would bring complete healing to all wounds associated with the trauma(s) I have gone through, and that you would wash over every memory connected to this trauma(s) with your cleansing and healing blood. Uproot every demonic assignment formed against my mind, body, soul and spirit. I ask that you would bind any spirit of trauma, spirit of torment, spirit of rejection, spirit of infirmity and spirit of anxiety by your authority, by your blood and in your name Jesus Christ, amen.
2. Learn to breathe properly. Take deep cleansing breathes to relax tension and anxiety. Breathe in deeply and exhale slowly at least 3x. Repeat as needed.
3. Exercise. Walk, run, bike, or whatever you choose.
4. Talk to someone trusted about your trauma such as a godly friend, counselor, or talk to God honestly about your struggles.
5. Get enough sleep every night-7-9 hours and have plenty of down time. Excessive amounts of stress that is triggered by trauma can cause your adrenals glands to not function properly thus tiring easily-adequate amounts of sleep and rest can help.
6. As your body and mind is recovering and you are standing in faith for Jesus to bring complete healing try adding supplements and herbs to help with anxiety. Here are a few examples (not a medical disclaimer): holy basil, rhodiola rosea, green tea (supplement or tea), kava kava, chamomile, B-6, taurine, theanine, and l-tyrosine. There are many more supplements and herbs, check with a nutritionist.
7. Avoid reminders of your trauma such as war movies or returning to the scene of a crime.
8. Connect with safe people that you feel you can trust such as a small group at your church.
9. Create as much safety and tranquility in the environment around you. Play soothing music, light scented candles, and try essential oils. Ask Jesus to bring His peace into the environment that you are in.
10. Deal with your anger at God and with others. Write it out and talk it out if possible to God or to someone that you trust.
11. Read out loud daily scriptures that deal with anxiety, worry, fear, and God’s protection.
Take baby steps. If you have been traumatized repeatedly or once, take small recovery steps and don’t expect yourself to take one giant leap and you are all better (there are times that God does heal instantly but usually we will have to go through the process).