How unwanted sexual behaviors occur in relationships
I think the process of being seen is, itself, healing.
Often trauma is worked with by a person in ways that aren’t exactly recognized as thoughts or feelings. It falls outside of a thinkable or recognizable realm by definition, but it isn’t lost. It goes somewhere.
Most of my clients have strained relationships with their bodies and struggle to varying degrees to accept, love, and nourish their bodies. They experience their bodies as places of pain and shame rather than safety and comfort.
Those who have suffered narcissistic abuse often struggle to feel they own their own mind from the cycles of manipulation, gas-lighting, and interpersonal exploitation that have conditioned them to focus on the needs of their abuser instead of their own.
Discovering parts of oneself on the brink of newness is stunning work. When we are on the edge of changes or shifts, many emotions and past experiences can flood to the surface making it difficult to trust our needs, wants and hopes for ourselves.
The healing begins to occur when we can replace the maladaptive self-soothing or reactive parenting response with an attuned and connective response of affirming feelings and meeting needs.
For children with trauma, emotional expression can often feel unsafe – for many kids the only thing they can express is anger. Other emotions feel too vulnerable, so any strong emotion that they feel ends up coming out as anger.
Brain scans have shown more activity in the brain when using creativity, art, music, and movement than when a person is using speech alone. Our brain naturally wants to help us heal, we might as well allow more areas of the brain to participate in therapy!
The cycle of violence continues until it is broken, and for many people it begins in childhood – witnessing violence between their parents, being targeted for abuse within the family, or even just