This is a big topic for me, as I have worked most of my adult life to unwind the childhood neglect and abuse that has made me who I am, to a large extent. The good news is, that as I have done the hard work with various therapies, I have learned to assist others along their own path of healing. I’ve also come to appreciate my own resilience and dedication to assisting the evolution of a new world, where the focus is shifted away from ‘What is wrong with us?’ to ‘What happened to us?’ This shift in focus takes us away from shame/ blame/ guilt and into the stories of what we’ve experienced. Understanding, acceptance and compassion unfold from these stories, and as we tell our tales in safe, sacred space we give others the courage to speak and to heal.
It is truly a sickness in our culture that demands diagnosis and barbaric ‘treatment’ for emotional and mental distress. The truth is, we all go through many experiences in our life path and with a few self awareness tools, modalities for self-soothing and kind and supportive people around us, we come out the other side of traumatic situations just fine. Unfortunately, many now lack a cohesive family system, and there is no longer a village. Denial, dysfunction and simply not knowing what to do keeps those nearby from reaching out when something happens. We have not been taught how to offer kind and caring support to each other in times of duress.
In my Peace Studies classes, I learned that a segment of potential focus on Peace is about healing generational trauma. Imagine how we could shift the war culture by having trauma resolution centers in war zones, so that the youngest ones impacted by the horror of war no longer feel the need to perpetuate violence.
I was in a Civic Engagement class here at Bitterroot College, Fall, 2017 and volunteered at Western Montana Mental Health Center. I accumulated information in an EPortfolio that has a resource page committed to understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) and how they impact many of our social issues and the life path of individuals. This information, when finally accepted by the medical industry, addictions treatment and all social services, is a game-changer. The ACEs study is rooted in the science of neurobiology, which is an exciting, rapidly evolving field. Thanks to advancements in imaging technology, we can actually watch traumatic impact on the brain and nervous system heal. Somatic psychologies work best, as talk therapy does not touch the healing that the body needs. I believe that it’s good to get a mental frame around what happened, but the body holds the trauma. Somatic Experiencing is, in my opinion, the best modality currently available to heal complex trauma. EMDR is another technique that works well for specific traumatic incidents.