5 Stages of Grief in Trauma Recovery

TRIGGER WARNING: Trauma is an important, but difficult and sensitive topic that may remind you of your own experience(s) and trigger psychological, emotional and/or physical responses. As you’re reading through our October Trauma Series, I strongly encourage you to take extra special care of yourself and don’t hesitate to reach out to a licensed mental health professional or other trauma specialist if you feel overwhelmed by an inability to cope with any triggered responses.
 “Healing doesn’t mean that trauma never happened. It means that it no longer controls your life.”

Dear Friends,

Last week, we identified the four people (behaviors) that trauma produces. Today, I’m reviewing the five (5) stages of grief in the trauma recovery process. Let me begin by saying that grief is something you never overcome; it’s something you endure. However, what was once a painful memory can eventually evolve into acceptance and a better psychological,...

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The 4 Types of People That Trauma Produces

TRIGGER WARNING: Trauma is an important, but difficult and sensitive topic that may remind you of your own experience(s) and trigger psychological, emotional and/or physical responses. As you’re reading through our October Trauma Series, I strongly encourage you to take extra special care of yourself and don’t hesitate to reach out to a licensed mental health professional or other trauma specialist if you feel overwhelmed by an inability to cope with any triggered responses.

Dear Friends,

Last week, we explored the effects of trauma on mental, emotional, and physical health. Today, we examine the four types of people (human behaviors) that trauma produces. Please understand that these are not labels, but psychological behaviors (i.e., individual responses to external stimuli).

The Victim

The victim is a person who suffers from an injurious or destructive action that’s beyond their control (e.g., accident, illness, violence, sudden or unexpected death, or act of...

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How Trauma Affects Mental, Emotional & Physical Health

TRIGGER WARNING: Trauma is an important, but difficult and sensitive topic that may remind you of your own experience(s) and trigger psychological, emotional and/or physical responses. As you’re reading through our October Trauma Series, I strongly encourage you to take extra special care of yourself and don’t hesitate to reach out to a licensed mental health professional or other trauma specialist if you feel overwhelmed by an inability to cope with any triggered responses.

 “Some days, trauma memories still knock the wind out of me.” – Unknown

Dear Friends:

Last week, we explored the foundational concepts of trauma, and I provided examples of traumatic events. If you have not yet read my blog post, I encourage you to do so before proceeding (or you may want to re-read it to refresh your memory).

Today, I’m discussing how trauma affects the mind, body, and emotions. In the throes of pain, it’s often difficult to...

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An Introduction to Trauma

TRIGGER WARNING: Trauma is an important, but difficult and sensitive topic that may remind you of your own experience(s) and trigger psychological, emotional and/or physical responses. As you’re reading through our October Trauma Series, I strongly encourage you to take extra special care of yourself and don’t hesitate to reach out to a licensed mental health professional or other trauma specialist if you feel overwhelmed by an inability to cope with any triggered responses.

Dear Friends:

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from October 3-9, 2021, so I thought this month would be an ideal time to highlight trauma (which also happens to be my area of specialization). This is the first segment of our 4-part blog series. Today, we explore foundational concepts of trauma, including different types of traumatic experiences. 

What is Trauma?

Trauma is any event that causes psychological, emotional, or physical harm. A traumatic event can also be referred to as a...

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6 Steps for Setting and Sticking to Healthy Boundaries

Dear Friends,

This is the final post of our September boundary series. I'm hoping you can now finally imagine living your life on YOUR terms. A balanced life whereby you dictate how and with whom you spend your time and resources.

As I close out this series, I want to ensure that you have the tools you need to set and stick to healthy boundaries -- the invisible lines you draw around yourself to protect you from being used and manipulated by others.

  1. Decide. Sit down and consciously decide that you not only deserve to have boundaries, but you need them for the sake of your future mental and physical health. Making this decision will free you to pursue a life of change and possibilities.
  2. Create. Rewrite the script. Think about the ways you’ve been taken advantage of, and make a concrete list of the ways in which you want to change. What are the new boundaries you’re establishing? What do you hope to accomplish by establishing them? In creating...
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5 Strategies for Protecting Your Personal Boundaries

Hello Friends,

As we continue our personal boundaries series, imagine an invisible fence set around yourself, with a single gate that is shut and locked, and only you possess the key. How does that make you feel?

When you have healthy personal boundaries, you’ve established a space around yourself that YOU control. You've set limits that communicate to others how far they can go when interacting with you. You decide if and when to open the gate, and who you will allow in your personal space.

The problem with personal boundaries is that the world has a way of pushing against them. There will always be people who want more of your time, more of your energy, more of you. When you have set personal boundaries, thankfully, there are things you can do to guard and keep them strong. 

  1. Identify your limits. It’s impossible to guard what you haven’t defined. The goal here is to define your limits clearly and...
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Signs You Need Healthier Personal Boundaries

Hello Friends,

Earlier this month, we began our series on boundaries. Perhaps you have  personal boundaries, but they don’t seem to be working. Maybe you still feel that people are taking unfair advantage of you, and your self-esteem is taking a constant hit.

Chances are you need to take a serious look at your personal boundaries. It's possible that the ones that used to work don’t anymore because you aren’t the same person. Or it’s time for a tune-up, so that you not only strengthen your existing boundaries, but also make them healthier.

Here are some signs that indicate your boundaries need work:

  • You remain silent when being bullied.
  • You agree to things you don’t agree with (such as political opinions) to avoid ‘rocking the boat’.
  • You suffer from guilt whenever you do something good for yourself.
  • You feel invisible most of the time.
  • You say ‘yes’ even when you want to say ‘no’...
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7 Reasons Why We Don't Set Boundaries

Hello Friends,

Welcome to Week 2 of our September series on personal boundaries! This week, we're reviewing seven reasons why people fail to set boundaries.

You know you really need to establish boundaries, but you just can't seem to get there, (which is not as abnormal as you might think). Here are some reasons why we don't set boundaries:

  1. Fear. The number one reason we don’t set boundaries is generally fear. After all, the devil we know is less frightening than the devil we don't know. Yet, there's something inherently self-disrespecting about not setting boundaries because we risk over-extending ourselves, over-sharing and tolerating bad behavior (our own and others).  
  1. It would be selfish. Very often, we're made to feel guilty for drawing personal lines. After all, why should your needs come before anyone else’s? 
  1. Self-care is abnormal. This point is an extension of the last one. Not only is self-care...
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What Are Personal Boundaries and Why We Need Them

Hello Friends,

For the Month of September, I've decided to focus on personal boundaries. You’ve probably heard the phrase before, but may not be sure what it means. Exactly what are personal boundaries, and what difference do they make in our lives?

To understand the importance of setting personal boundaries, you must first know what a boundary is: 

bound·a·ry (noun) -- a dividing line that marks the limits of an area

Most boundaries, as the above graphic illustrates, are relatively easy to see. For example, yellow tape protecting crime scenes, fences, highway dividers, and white lines marking off parking spaces. A personal boundary does the same thing – only on a more invisible and internal level. Let's take a closer look.

What is a boundary?

  1. A boundary delineates your responsibility in a given situation. For example, you likely already operate within certain boundaries at work or school. These...
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How to Get Unstuck and Move Forward

Greetings Friends,

Are you stuck in a rut? Not just a rut, but a completely furnished rut? It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be stuck, but to stay stuck is a problem.

If you're stuck and desperate to find a way out of your rut, I’d like to share with you a few strategies for getting unstuck and moving forward.

Identify root cause. Before you can find a solution for any problem, you must first identify its root cause. A simple way to do this is using the 5 Whys technique where you repeat the question Why? five times, and each answer forms the basis of the next question. This interrogative technique is used to explore the cause-effect relationship underlying the problem. Not all problems have a single root cause, so you would need to repeat this method using a different set of questions each time. Here's an example:

Problem – I got a speeding ticket.

  1. Why? I ran a stop light.
  2. Why? I was late for work.
  3. Why? I woke up late.
  4. ...
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