Blog Post 2 – 25th February 2021
How to process traumatic experiences from your past
Author: Jim Byrne
Copyright (c) 2021
Traumatic experiences are those which cannot easily be processed by the person to whom they occur. Most people are probably somewhat traumatized (or greatly traumatized) by their childhood experiences. One estimate – by Dr Felitti, in Dr van der Kolk’s book (The Body Keeps the Score) suggests that about 87% of Americans are somewhat traumatized by their Adverse Childhood Experiences!
In E-CENT counselling, we teach our clients to (slowly and gradually!) face up to their traumatic memories, which they have often been running away from; sometimes for decades. Because it is only by facing up to the traumatic experiences from our past – (slowly and gradually) – that we can reframe them, complete them, and allow them to shrink and fade:
“Shadows of the past sometimes contaminate the present and narrow down the future for all of us”, writes Muriel Shiffman. “The purpose of my self-therapy technique is to confront the past and put it in its place. Only then are we released to live the present more fully and grow into a richer future, able to use more of our true potential.” Because she was depressed, Muriel Shiffman “…began to use myself as a guinea pig in a fumbling attempt at self-therapy. … (Over time) I stumbled on the key to self-therapy: I learned to feel painful emotions I had been avoiding all my life. I explored attitudes and relationships that forced me to feel rage and grief and anxiety, and I did a great deal of crying. For two long years I unearthed a hidden part of my life, and suffered and then it suddenly dawned on me that my old, recurrent depression was gone. Somewhere along the way I had lost it, and it has never come back”.
Muriel Shiffman, Self-Therapy: Techniques for personal growth.
I have used writing therapy to heal my own childhood traumas, which has taken a number of years (on and off). I first wrote some articles and papers, and then combined them into a fictionalized autobiographical story – (Metal Dog – Long Road Home***) – plus a book about HOW TO complete your own traumatic experiences***, and one which describes the first two stories that I used therapeutically to heal my own heart and mind.
If you want to explore the skills of Writing Therapy, you could also look at my book: How to Write a New Life for Yourself.***
I hope you find this information helpful.
Dr Jim Byrne
Doctor of Counselling,
Email: Dr Jim.***
Or Telephone: 01422 843 629 (from inside the UK)
Or 44 1422 843 629 (from outside the UK)