Trauma and Grounding: Understanding and Managing Traumatic Experiences

Trauma and Grounding: Understanding and Managing Traumatic Experiences

Trauma is a subjective experience that varies from person to person. It is influenced by an individual’s unique lens formed by their life experiences and genetic makeup. Understanding and managing trauma is crucial to building resilience and preventing it from hijacking our emotions and behaviors.

Dr. Eric Emery, a primary care counselor, uses the metaphor of an electric shock to describe traumatic experiences. Each traumatic experience carries an emotional charge that needs to be grounded and released. Grounding involves integrating the traumatic experience, allowing individuals to understand and manage their emotional intensity rather than feeling out of control.

While normal responses to trauma are common, they differ from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of PTSD, such as hypervigilance and exaggerated startle, can severely impact daily life. Hypervigilance involves constant scanning for potential threats, while exaggerated startle occurs when the nervous system reacts as though in serious danger.

If these symptoms interfere with daily life, it may be beneficial to seek professional counseling. However, one must distinguish between a normal trauma response and one that requires professional help. Grounding and managing the intensity of trauma can be achieved through therapy.

Validation of one’s experience is crucial when dealing with trauma. Counseling provides a safe space where experiences are acknowledged and validated. Well-meaning loved ones may suggest moving on, but therapists trained in trauma-informed care understand that time alone does not heal trauma. Therapy enables individuals to release the debilitating effects of trauma and regain control of their lives.

If a traumatic event is impeding the enjoyment of life, seeking treatment is essential. Emotional trauma can be debilitating and require professional intervention. Therapists who provide trauma-informed care understand the complexities of PTSD and can assist individuals in choosing how to respond to emotional triggers.

In some cases, therapists collaborate with medical providers to prescribe medication to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other conditions that may be exacerbating the trauma’s impact. Therapists serve as listeners and guides, facilitating understanding and releasing the emotional charge associated with the event.

Dr. Emery encourages individuals to seek help early on. If you find yourself needing to talk about your trauma, reach out to a trauma-informed therapist to receive the assistance you need. They are here to support you on your healing journey.

Source: Dr. Eric Emery, Ph.D., LCSW at MCHC Health Centers

All Rights Reserved 2021.
| .