Encapsulated trauma is always something unfinished. Although you can go on living your life and develop yourself in many ways, one part of the personality remains stuck in the traumatic experience and in trauma-time. You cannot recall the traumatic memory by will, but it is triggered by a reminder of the trauma. Trauma-informed treatment addresses psychological problems as something caused by the environment, and not your genetic inheritance, for example. This creates responsibility.
“Trauma-informed treatment addresses psychological problems as something caused by the environment, and not your genetic inheritance, for example.
This creates responsibility.”
It is healing for one to understand their life experience, realizing it and putting it into perspective. However, this is especially hard and demanding with emotional damage, because it is very natural for human to avoid and elude something that is unbearable. What is essential, is to understand, what the disproportionate emotions and states – the overreactions – are telling us. They are carrying an important message from the past, that can be deciphered. For this, we need another person and verbal sharing. It is especially hard when very exceptional and unbearable things have happened.
A common problem is that, in a therapeutic setting, only one part of the person is considered and seen, and too far-reaching conclusions are drawn from this. This results in various issues and errors in judgment, and most importantly, the patient doesn’t feel like they are seen in a truthful way. Trauma theory helps us to understand the big picture, looking at it more realistically, seeing the complexities, so that a better target of treatment can be found.
There are different stages in trauma treatment. Successful treatment takes time, inevitably. First you must build enough trust and safety. Safety is the most important condition for a successful treatment of trauma. The treatment must include a corrective emotional experience – that you don’t have to be alone with your problems, anymore!
Then it is possible to gain totally new experiences of being understood and really seen. It is in itself healing to be wholly seen and understood as all your parts, and it can bring more realization for the past and the present. This can have a magnificent effect on you, it can free you from the shackles of the past.
A specific fact is, that numerous and frequent corrective emotional experiences, are needed to recover from childhood trauma. It takes so much time, and the kind of patience, that is not considered appropriate and reasonable in these times of maximum efficiency. We have to keep away from the idea that trauma can’t be healed. It is a question of, how much time we are willing to invest on it. Sufficiently long-term treatment of trauma will pay for itself, many times, so it is especially cost-efficient.
In the second part of the 5th episode Carita Kilpinen explains what is trauma informed treatment.
A SHORT FILM ABOUT TRAUMA AND DISSOCIATION
We have produced a short documentary that explains clearly and comprehensively what emotional trauma, structural dissociation and polyvagal theories are and how they effect human life. Psychiatrist Anssi Leikola also explains how understanding these subjects help us in creating sustainable psychiatry also called as trauma informed treatment.
The documentary has six episodes. We recommend to watch them in the order they are released:
Link to the whole documentary: