Trauma can be a deeply difficult thing to overcome. The events that lead to trauma can cause long-lasting emotional damage, affecting a person’s ability to cope with day-to-day life, function in social situations, and develop trusting relationships. If you have a loved one who is struggling to overcome trauma, you may feel helpless. However, there are things you can do to support your loved one on their journey to healing, including seeking trauma counselling training.
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Create a safe space
One of the most important things you can do for someone who is overcoming trauma is to create a safe space for them – both physically and emotionally. This means being there for them when they need to talk, ensuring their physical safety, and respecting their boundaries.
If your loved one wants to talk about their experiences, listen without judgement. Let them know that you are there for them and that they can trust you. If they don’t want to talk about what happened, that’s okay too – just let them know that you’re available if they ever need to open up.
It’s also important to ensure your loved one feels safe in their environment. If they’re living in a situation where they don’t feel safe – for example, if they’re being abused – do whatever you can to help them get out of that situation and into a safe place. This may mean finding them a new place to live or helping them secure legal protection.
Finally, respect your loved one’s boundaries. Everyone deals with trauma in different ways, so it’s important not wait for your loved one to come to you – check in with them regularly and see how they’re doing. And if they need some time alone, respect that and give them the space they need.
Provide practical support
In addition to emotional support, your loved one may also need practical support as they recover from trauma. This may include helping with everyday tasks like grocery shopping or cooking meals, as well as more significant assistance like finding housing or getting treatment for substance abuse or mental health issues.
You can help by taking on some of their responsibilities or connecting them with resources that can help. For example, if your loved one is having difficulty holding down a job, you could help them search for new job opportunities or connect them with career counselling services.
If they’re struggling to pay bills, you could help them find government assistance programs or connect them with financial advisors who could help them get their finances back on track.
Be patient and accept help yourself
Recovering from trauma is a long and difficult process – it’s important to be patient with your loved one and understand that it will take time for them to heal. At the same time, it’s okay if you need some help yourself – caring for someone who is going through a difficult time can be emotionally draining, so make sure to take care of yourself as well. Seek out support from other friends and family members or consider talking to a therapist yourself so you can be there for your loved one in the best way possible.
One day at a time
Recovering from traumatic experiences is a slow and gradual process with small milestones along the way. Remember this as you help your loved one overcome the emotional difficulties associated with their past trauma and regain control over their lives.