In addition to resolution of traumatic events in people’s lives, I am very interested in helping people with grief and transitions. There are many things in common that grief and trauma share, phenomenally. They both tax a person’s normal coping skills and abilities; they also shake a person’s fundamental faith in the world. Trauma and grief are both easier to handle when a person’s attachment to their original caregivers was strong, secure and healthy. For this reason, I think that addressing issues of both grief and trauma is a good idea. I will alternate sometimes between grief and trauma, and try to overlap the posts as much as I can where applicable.
I am a licensed psychologist who has several years of using EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to help people cope with both short-term traumatic events as well as developmental traumas (things that happened in the childhood or earlier in life, that still affect a person). I find much success with this as well as in teaching people skills called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. I find that these go well together. In knowing how to use the DBT skills, people can tolerate strong feelings that come up while processing trauma (or grief) and the person can soothe themselves better when the know these skills. I also find that people often find the loss of a loved one very traumatic, and they may develop Traumatic Grief. This will be explained in a later post.
In my practice, I also work with many people who are dealing with the death of a loved one, breakups of marriages and long term relationships, and other difficult transitions in their lives. Grief is a healthy response to a pivotal moment in a person’s life, and in that moment we have a choice to allow it to help us grow or to let it suck us under like a riptide. I hope that we can explore together ways to navigate the journey of grief so that it enriches rather than debilitates us.
I will be posting monthly about different aspects of trauma and grief. I invite your comments and reflections. Thank you.