Finding Hope in the Process
Knowledge is Power! Below is a list of websites, videos, articles, and more pertaining to both the impact of trauma and the journey of therapy.
Stage 1 establishes the foundational work necessary for creating a sense of stability and safety in your body, in your relationships, and in your pain. The symptoms that have brought you to therapy are stories which have not yet had an opportunity to be developed and held by another person. Stage 1, then, is the hard work of therapy. It is the process of developing the capacity and skills to find your story.
Applicable to All Stages
Stage 2 involves revisiting what was done to you, or, in many cases, what was not given to you because of your parents’ trauma or mental illnesses. For example, perhaps you grew up in an environment where being yourself was not safe. In Stage 2, you develop a more accurate understanding of what was taken from you through traumatic events in your life. This understanding creates a space where you can sit with the pain of those losses. Sitting with this pain requires returning to the work of Stage 1 in order to address your symptoms and learn the language and skills to deal both with what happened in the past and what is happening in the present. This flow between Stage 1 and Stage 2 is the work of therapy.
Stage 3 focuses on what research and literature call “post-traumatic growth.” This stage involves meaning-making and community building. It involves shifting your focus from “what happened” to a new sense of positive identity and connection. Again, Stage 3 is not linear, but layered with purpose and grief. As Brené Brown, a shame researcher and teacher, eloquently describes, self-discovery is about living a wholehearted life. After finding your own purpose and power, you have the capacity to give to other people. In Stage 3, you learn to bravely live a vulnerable, authentic life.