Conflict # 45 – The Impact of Trauma

Psychological trauma has far-reaching effects. So that we’re on the same page, let’s be clear: what is trauma, actually?

Psychological trauma is a condition, in response to a past event(s) that leave the victim with painful feelings, memories, beliefs and physical reactions, all of which hamper his ability to function.

One particularly devastating impact of trauma is that it hinders the ability to handle conflict. An example:

A young woman comes for therapy, because she gets quickly upset for no apparent reason, and her husband does not understand. Both are frustrated. She can’t express her feelings; but she often looks and sounds angry and scared. He feels helpless and confused. She becomes more upset – the conflict escalates. The future of this relationship looks dim.

A key bit of information: psychological trauma changes how the brain works. The brain of a traumatized person slips quickly into the state called, “fight-flight-freeze” – the stress reaction. The spouse must understand this and must exercise patience with the unique problem the survivor is grappling with: she can’t regulate her emotions or immediately calm her stress reactions. When stress rises up, her awareness is thrust back in time, and she loses touch with here and now. She needs healing to neutralize the impact of painful memories and automatic defensive reactions. The spouse needs education.

When any participant in a conflict is in the grip of a stress reaction, resolution of conflict is highly unlikely. Even worse news: if the victim is not getting help, the health risks are massive. Call me in order to learn about that.

But don’t despair. Healing is possible. For most people, help is available; but don’t expect a quick fix. A successful healing will take time and 100% commitment.

For further information, please call for a free consultation at 219-309-3928. I’d be honored to work with you.

Thanks for reading!