Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Trauma (for argument's sake)

My doctoral dissertation was a case study about a then client who's parents survived the Holocaust and unconsciously transmitted their unresolved, untouched, repressed, disavowed, and un-digested trauma into her. Now, some 13 years later.... if I were going to take on the task of rewriting it with this many years of private practice under my belt and this many long walks back up the mountain.... I'd write about "Transmission of Unresolved Trauma in Intimacy". 

Since this is a simple conversational medium and just blog, I'm going to distill it down to a uncomplex thought, opinion, and button pusher... and hopefully a conversation starter. This is entirely subjective.

I often find that people that come in for work around issues related to childhood trauma/abuse will only set about doing so by following  pathways to healing that don't require that they encounter difficult and sometimes unbearable feelings. This is the catch 22... I've yet to see any pain transformed without feeling pain. I do see superfifical improvements and those can be deeply meaningful.

The only way to entice them into the therapy is by talking and yet they fatigue around conversations rather than feel comfort in them. They move towards the black and white and away from the ineffible. And their lives are unconsciously built around this avoidance. And there is this exhaustion because so much has to be orchestrated to keep the undigested feelings at bay and out of consciousness. There is this seeking away from feeling that is so often exploited in so many well-intentioned earnest healing-arts.

There are so many pathways to reduce the intensity of the affective experience... but nothing can happen until you are in the room with them and they are in their trauma. To get to that trauma, all the while not traumatizing them... is no easy endeavor (for both parties). I don't have any stock answer for that one. Nothing happens if they aren't willing, and the arrival of  that willingness lays an expensive tax upon all involved.