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As a psychologist, it is often I notice people who believe they are making progress and regulating their experience of trauma, when in reality they are just suppressing their emotions. And it got me thinking…. Where does this fine line exist?
Trauma healing is a complex and deeply personal journey that requires individuals to confront their past experiences and find ways to move forward. However, there is a crucial distinction between genuinely healing from trauma and simply suppressing the painful memories and emotions associated with it. This blog post explores the importance of understanding the difference between suppression and genuine healing, while highlighting the potential pitfalls of relying solely on suppression as a coping mechanism.
Suppression involves consciously or unconsciously burying painful emotions, memories, and experiences related to trauma, effectively pushing them out of conscious awareness. While this approach may provide temporary relief, it often prevents true healing. Genuine healing, on the other hand, entails acknowledging, processing, and integrating traumatic experiences into one’s life in a healthy and transformative way. It requires facing the pain, seeking support, and engaging in therapeutic techniques that promote healing and growth.
Suppression might seem like a convenient way to cope with trauma, as it allows individuals to temporarily distance themselves from the pain and discomfort associated with their experiences. However, it is essential to recognize the potential pitfalls of relying solely on suppression.
By avoiding the emotional and psychological work required for healing, suppressed trauma can resurface unexpectedly, leading to intensified distress and potential long-term negative effects on mental and physical well-being. Furthermore, suppressed trauma can manifest as various psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, and difficulties in relationships, hindering personal growth and preventing individuals from living fulfilling lives.
Genuine healing acknowledges the significance of confronting and processing traumatic experiences rather than suppressing them. By working through the pain with the help of qualified professionals or support networks, individuals can develop coping mechanisms, gain insights, and acquire the tools needed to navigate their healing journey effectively. Genuine healing enables individuals to integrate their experiences into their identity, fostering resilience, self-compassion, and a renewed sense of purpose.
To truly heal from trauma, it is crucial to embrace authentic healing practices. This might involve seeking therapy or counseling, engaging in trauma-informed modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), practicing mindfulness and self-care, and connecting with support groups or individuals who have experienced similar traumas. Authentic healing empowers individuals to explore their emotions, cultivate self-awareness, and develop healthy coping mechanisms, leading to long-lasting and transformative healing outcomes.
While suppression may offer temporary relief from trauma, it is not a substitute for genuine healing. By recognizing the distinction between suppression and authentic healing, individuals can embark on a path of true recovery, allowing them to confront their experiences, find solace, and build resilience in their journey toward reclaiming their lives from the grasp of trauma.
Overall, I find it amazing to have the privilege to watch people while they navigate the difficult waters of self healing… and the bitter truth is that we all, at one time or another, had to surrender to our trauma only to find out that it controls us to no end. My only advice: Do it when you are ready; and you will know when that time is.
As always… don’t hesitate to contact me.. after all, we are on the rock, spinning through space with nothing but a belief it’ll all be ok in the end…