2 Stories of Trauma and Recovery

Those who’ve experienced traumatic events often feel like they’re all alone, like no one else can understand their experience. Two prominent public figures describe their experiences of trauma and subsequent recovery through therapy and psychoanalysis.

In a thoughtful and poignant interview, Bruce Springsteen chronicles his upbringing with a paranoid schizophrenic father and his subsequent mental health stuggles. Psychoanalysis with his long term analyst allows him to come to terms with his past, become a healthier person, and build a happier marriage and family for himself. “You have to put together a person from all the stuff that you’ve been handed,” he says.

Writer Junot Diaz writes a raw and searing account of his legacy of childhood trauma and subsequent substance abuse and failed relationships. He finds healing and growth through a relationship with a therapist who stands by him and doesn’t give up. “No one can hide forever. Eventually what used to hold back the truth doesn’t work anymore. You run out of escapes, you run out of exits, you run out of gambits, you run out of luck. Eventually the past finds you.”

The past has a way of catching up to all of us. The things we deny or forget or choose to ignore can affect our lives in painful ways. If you’re struggling with past events and traumas consider getting started with therapy. It’s in a relationship with a safe, trusted, empathetic person that we can find healing.

Why Is Change So Hard?

Why change is hardIn a word: resistance.

The part of us that wants to change is, almost always, counterbalanced by the part of us that wants to keep things the same.

Why would we do this to ourselves, you ask. Why do we have such a difficult time acting on our healthy desires to break bad habits, get into a healthier relationship, have more friends or any of the other goals we might have set for ourselves? And it isn’t just that we have a hard time following through on making changes, it’s that a part of us actively resists our efforts to change. Continue reading “Why Is Change So Hard?”

Affect Phobia Explained

Fear of emotionsWhen we think of a phobia, it is often of an external fear such as snakes or heights. Yet what is more common are affect phobias, fears of our emotional experiences. Rather than being an external fear, an affect phobia is a fear/discomfort with something that happens internally. In fact, it is these internal fears that underlie many psychological problems.

Why do we fear our emotions? And how does this cause problems? Continue reading “Affect Phobia Explained”

Trauma & Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms of traumaWhile many people seek therapy for psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression, they may not consider psychotherapy to alleviate physical pain. Many sufferers of physical symptoms including back pain, digestive problems, fatigue, sleep disturbances and many other body-based problems will seek out medical doctors, specialists, and physical therapists. They are trying to diagnose and heal their physical symptoms and become frustrated and confused when the medical system seems to offer no relief. While it’s understandable that we would seek physical relief for our physical problems, it’s important to consider psychological explanations for pain and illnesses. Continue reading “Trauma & Physical Symptoms”