In the March 2011 Newsletter, I wrote about the need for women to find spiritual healing in their lives because the statistics are so high for women and abuse. Many of us are holding unexplored trauma inside of us–stuff we never want to bring out because we are afraid of it. That’s trauma. One of the main symptoms of trauma are somatized parts that are in the body and block intimacy and hold fear, distrust, pain, shame. The good news is they can be cleared through spiritual healing so that healthy relationships can occur. This is what Trauma Therapy does – creates this kind of spiritual healing inside of us. Trauma therapy requires that you trust your therapist so that you can begin to work with your fear and learn how to befriend these traumatized parts inside of you.
There are many kinds of Trauma Therapies: EMDR, Eye movement desensitization reprocessing, SE or Somatic Experiencing, Brain Spotting, and IFS (Internal Family Systems Therapy). I use several of these tools and incorporate them into the framework of IFS, a spirituality based healing framework or system. It uses systems-thinking or the idea that there are many causes for any one problem or challenge and that we have to look at all aspects of the system to truly understand what is happening. In the case of IFS, we are open and curious to all the parts or aspects or different voices inside of you that impact you in many ways and in some cases, cause conflicts inside of you. All of you (all of your parts) is/are welcome!
In the case of Beth, she came to me looking for tools for how to be healthier in her relationships, having met the “man of her dreams” at 26. A a successful young physican, working hard and smart, but was noticing how “crazy” her behaviors were towards this new man. For example, she would criticize him relentlessly until he walked out and play games testing him to be sure he was being true to her, to name a few of the ways she would block closeness with him. After three months of coaching, I suggested that we look more deeply at the “parts” of her that were acting “crazy” and see if we could “get to know them better.”
At my encouragement, she began practicing mindfulness in and outside of our sessions to be able to learn how to be present to these parts and be able to witness them. Mostly she realized she was running away from them rather than being able to get to know them. She was able to do this and developed a relationship with these parts that were “running her relationships” to keep her safe to prevent her from getting hurt like she had been hurt in many key relationships in her past.
It made sense to her that these parts were trying to protect her. As soon as she began to embrace and appreciate these parts, they stepped back and she came face to face with three “little girls” who were hiding, yelling, crying…etc. Over the next few months, Beth learned to witness, embrace and finally heal these three little girls who had been abused in these key relationships in her life. Each part shared its story with her until they had released all of the pain and shame they were holding.
Throughout this process, Beth was growing more in her wholeness as a person and her internal system changed and evolved through her new presence of healing love which she was able to give to herself and to her parts. This is the spiritual healing that allows traumatized parts to be released and healed through the loving energy that we all have inside of us. This is what “Trauma Therapy” is like and how it works. This process took approximately one and a half years of working together. During that time, Beth got married to her lover and resolved many issues so that they were able to have a child together and move forward successfully together. Trauma work is the best process I know of to help you find healthier relationships that last and bring true intimacy and help you continue to grow as a separate person as well.
If you would like to know more about how IFS and trauma therapy might work for you, just give me a call for a FREE 30 Minute Consultation.