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Finding Peace Through Post-Traumatic Growth

By Laura Nalin, MA, P-LPC, CADC

When a person experiences a traumatic event of any kind, it can sometimes feel like there won’t be any way out to the other side. Feelings of worthlessness may sink in, along with a number of symptoms such as hypervigilance, difficulty sleeping, irritability, self-destructive behavior as well as feelings of guilt and shame.

It’s important to keep in mind that the healing process of trauma is not unlike grief. What this looks like:

  • Denial - e.g. “How could this have happened?” or “there’s no way it happened.”

  • Anger - e.g. “I’m so angry this happened.”

  • Bargaining - e.g. “Maybe it wouldn’t have happened had I done something,” or “Maybe it wasn’t actually that bad.”

  • Depression - e.g. “I’m so sad that this happened. Nobody understands me.”

  • Acceptance - e.g. “This happened, I will work toward moving through this.”

When we talk about trauma in society, we often remind people that similarly to grief, it never really goes away. While this is true, and triggers can evoke really challenging emotions throughout the course of one’s lifetime, we also need to focus on the resiliency within those who have been impacted by trauma.