Trauma is an emotive word and as humans we all experience it from time to time in our lives.
It can appear in the shape of post traumatic stress after a single event or repeated exposure such as living in a war zone, with domestic abuse, bullying in the school ground or in the work place. It can appear in the shape of grief as a result of disease, death or life experiences.
It is a natural human reaction to avoid this unpleasantness, but in so doing, it makes the experience worse. However, accepting the presence of trauma and addressing it is what is needed to overcome suffering.
Pain of course is inevitable and it is a function of being human and being alive. Suffering however is optional.
Acceptance and actively working towards increasing awareness and insight into the unhelpful behaviours that result from contact with trauma is effective. Behaviours that we engage in which move us away from our valued selves in a bid to obtain short term relief can be termed ‘avoidance behaviours’. These behaviours can be overt or covert and can lead to immense long term suffering. Increasing resilience in clients and offering them a choice to move towards a life they value is a far more effective long term solution.
Trauma is overcome with true courage and bravery, actively making choices which are in line with who we value ourselves to be.