Veterans day gives us the opportunity to honor those who have and do serve our country. This is also a time of reflection, when we reflect on the consequences of war we find that many former and current military members and their families are greatly impacted by Post war trauma. PTSD is a very serious and debilitating consequence of being in a state of hyper arousal. Researchers have found that Recurring violence habituates survivors to live in fear and sympathetic nervous system arousal. This constant state of nervous system arousal makes people feel that the world is not a safe place. One can see how this belief system makes daily living very unmanageable. Bing in a constant state of survival impacts the whole person, mind, body, and spirit. Therapy can create a journey of healing for those suffering from trauma related disorders. Clients need to feel safe enough with their therapist to describe their humiliation and overwhelm. At the same time, the therapist needs to be nurturing enough to provide the empathy and calm support that is missing in the client's current experience. Seeking support and assistance from a trained professional is an opportunity to find healing and restoration to individuals and families who might be suffering.
Steps towards healing:
Seek a Therapeutic alliance with a trained therapist.
This video below gives a very helpful understanding of the signs and symptoms of PTSD. This video was created by the Veterans Health Administration.
So often I hear Clients say, " I would never talk to a friend like I talk to myself." maybe thats where the term you are your worst critic came from,? so badgering yourself all day is motivation, or so we are taught. What if there is another way, what if we were compassionate towards ourselves as opposed to critical. When we are compassionate to loved ones or even strangers it seems to be uplifting and helpful for them, and yet we fail to see how this could be helpful for us. We go about our day on auto pilot, which is similar to how our thoughts work. We call this Automatic critical thoughts because think without noticing. Most of the time we are not even fully aware of how critical we are of ourselves. Step back and think about your inner dialogue, maybe even write some thoughts down. Think about how many times you have an automatic thought like, " I should have.... or, I am so Lazy, I can't get anything done" Would you say that to a friend, " you are lazy, you dont get anything done ?" most likely, thats not very helpful or encouraging. Its a good reminder to think about how your automatic self critical thoughts impact you on a day to day. When you can't seem to understand why you are feeling down, or angry, take an inventory of your critical thoughts. What you might notice is how critical thoughts impact your mood. Practicing self compassion is not something you can change over night. Once I help my Clients to implement it, they are amazed at how much more effective they can be.