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Ultimate Guide to Healing Childhood Trauma
Unresolved childhood trauma can have far-reaching and detrimental effects on our adult lives, from hindering relationships to compromising professional goals. If you’re feeling unease or distress that just won’t seem to go away, it may be time to take a closer look at the traumas of your past and seek help in order to heal them. Don’t suffer any longer than is necessary – address those unresolved issues so they don’t linger into future years!
Opening up about traumatic incidents isn’t easy but with proper support along this journey begins an opportunity for growth as well as healing old wounds once thought unchangeable. Have you been feeling anxious and overwhelmed lately? Maybe panicking or even withdrawing from daily life at times? It could be that your unresolved trauma is resurfacing, making it more difficult to manage. Examining the cause of this anxiety may help provide a sense of relief in due time.
What is childhood trauma?
When adverse experiences from early life are not properly addressed, they can persist, influencing one’s mental and physical well-being over time. These experiences may range from abuse and neglect to profound loss or disturbing incidents. Indicators of such deep-seated issues can present as anxiety, depression, vivid unwanted memories, unsettling dreams, low self-worth, feelings of guilt and shame, and difficulties establishing trust-based relationships. Whether the initial harm was physical or emotional, failing to process it thoroughly can result in lingering distress.
Ignoring these issues can have a lasting impact on one’s health and relational capabilities. The root cause of these problems often remains unaddressed, residing beneath the surface. While these symptoms may lie dormant for extended periods, any stress-inducing incident or trigger reminiscent of past hurt can bring these emotions back to the fore.
Why does childhood trauma unsuspectingly follow us?
Even though your traumatic experience occurred in the past, it is only when you truly understand how trauma affects your present life – including symptoms and relationships – that it can finally be laid to rest.
As Freud said, we have a tendency to repeat our mistakes even if we’re consciously trying not to. That’s why you may find yourself in relationships that bear an uncanny resemblance with those which wounded you in the past.
Your past is never gone. Your symptoms and behaviors might come in many shapes, but they are all special to you. Without the right help, it can be challenging for you to understand how your childhood trauma still haunts your present life – leaving it unresolved. To finally move on from this difficult period of time, seek out assistance that will provide insight into the underlying causes of these struggles.
Highly Rated Childhood Trauma Therapist in Frisco, TX
MS, LPCC, LPC, NCC
Therapist | Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor | Nationally Certified Counselor
As a seasoned counselor, I offer tailored support to empower individuals on their path to healing and resilience. Don’t hesitate to reach out today and take the first step towards a stronger, healthier mindset.
Where does the childhood trauma begin?
Trauma can be conspicuous, as in cases of physical or sexual abuse, but it often presents in more subtle forms. Childhood adversities such as neglect, parental loss, serious illnesses, learning disabilities leading to self-doubt, large sibling groups, or being brought up by emotionally distant parents can be deeply impactful.
Significant events like accidents, natural disasters, or war, as well as societal issues like poverty and racism, can also leave lasting marks. Recognizing the diverse origins of these traumatic experiences is crucial for their appropriate management and resolution.
Neglected traumas from the early years can contribute to a host of serious issues in adulthood. These might include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, low self-esteem, and substance abuse, some of which you may have encountered personally. It’s essential to address such profound influences from the past to foster healthier mental and emotional development.
Loss of a parent
Being deprived of a parent due to death or abandonment during your childhood can be one of the most gut-wrenching traumas you may ever experience. Even if well-cared for through other relatives, or by your remaining parent, this type of loss is something that goes far beyond the surface and leaves an emotional scar on those affected. If such grief wasn’t sufficiently seen, felt or expressed at the time it occurred however; then deep within yourself lies years worth of unexpressed sorrow which must still be mourned in order for healing to take place.
If you were young when a loved one was taken away or suddenly gone, it taught you that loss can happen at any time. This fear of losing someone again causes anxiety and affects your self-esteem even into adulthood; no matter how old you are when the trauma occurs. It becomes especially difficult to maintain close relationships because they signify the risk of potential heartache in the future.
Growing up with neglect equates to having one’s emotional or physical needs unmet. In most cases, this is due to your parents being overburdened and consumed by other matters, but it can also be a result of mental illness that may lead them to expect you to take on the role as parent for your siblings or complete more household tasks than necessary.
Whatever the reason may be, your needs for love and security were neglected or even disregarded. No child should ever have to endure exploitation because of a parent’s wants. Children should always come first, especially when it comes to their emotional and physical wellbeing — if yours didn’t receive proper attention then you experienced neglect.
A learning disability
If you faced any struggles with learning, such as dyslexia or ADHD, it could have been very difficult to feel like everyone else. Even for the brightest minds out there who go undiagnosed and don’t receive proper help can start believing they aren’t smart enough. It is essential that we provide adequate assistance to those living with learning disabilities in order for them to conquer their journey of self-development and recognize their true potentials.
The repercussions of learning difficulties of your self-esteem can be devastating. You may have battled against insurmountable obstacles or given up completely – either way, you were never able to attain the results that you wanted. If this resonates with you, it could mean that you are still too obsessed with perfectionism; constantly trying to please yet feeling unworthy at the same time. Alternatively, even if your problems appear solved externally – their effects will linger deep within and cause lasting damage which might not necessarily surface immediately.
Severe childhood illnesses
Have you ever battled a life-threatening childhood illness? If so, then understand that your experience is shared by many others in similar situations. Chances are, it caused you to be excluded from customary social activities and made you feel lonely and different. Perhaps even scared.
Feeling socially uncomfortable or not knowing where you fit in could be a result of your hospitalization experience. Separating from parents, enduring medical procedures that can cause trauma, and being overcome with fear are all common during this time. If the attachment to your parents was strong and they were available for support throughout the process, then it may help ease any anxiety moving forward. But if there wasn’t security in those attachments or emotional availability before/during/after – then insecurity might still remain within current relationships due to feeling unsupported during such an important moment earlier on.
Having too many siblings can be a problem.
Have you grown up in a large family where resources seemed scarce? Often, when there are multiple siblings born close together and mothers who feel exhausted with their responsibilities towards them, it can be difficult to get your needs met. You may have felt like you were left wanting more than ever before.
Being the eldest in a family of several siblings can be both rewarding and trying. Despite the unconditional love within your household or lack thereof. Growing up with multiple brothers and sisters can have psychological impacts that last well into adulthood. You may have felt alone and invisible among the crowd of your siblings. Ignored, unnoticed, disregarded – you’ve never had the opportunity to be heard or appreciated for who you are. This can create feelings of emotional neglect and insecurity in a child that they will not receive love unless they become givers themselves instead of receivers. You might even feel lost with an intense need to belong without ever feeling like you achieve it completely; this problem is further compounded when mothers are either detached or absent from their children’s lives entirely.
Parents who are emotionally distant, disconnected, or overly anxious.
The scars of an absent parent can last a lifetime. Growing up without someone to listen, embrace and validate your feelings is devastating for children. Every child needs that sense of security and comfort – the feeling of being seen, heard, held and cherished by their parents as they grow up.
You may have been taught to be apprehensive and accept that love was not a given. Also if you had an anxious parent, who feared the worst and hid from society or refused to believe in trust. It may be understandable why such feelings of doubt linger within you.
The fear of a parent can ooze into the pores of their children, leaving them emotionally scarred and apprehensive. With this trauma comes an unexpected burden: inheriting anxiety from your parents you never even knew existed. Trauma can often be passed down from generation to generation, and a parent who is emotionally disconnected or anxious likely endured their own trauma as well.
Can trauma from your childhood be transgenerational?
Transgenerational trauma is real, and it can have a lasting impact on one’s life. If your parents never resolved their own childhood traumas, that pain has the potential to be transferred from parent to child – unbeknownst even- through the unconscious mind. Children are incredibly impressionable – it’s no wonder you felt the ramifications of whatever situation unfolded.
Parents who have endured trauma often act as a reflection of their own struggles, and cannot always provide the level of love and support that you need. Even more difficult is when your mother or father has experienced intense suffering, like in the case of war survivors – these losses can linger like an apparition for both them and for those around them.
Unresolved traumas, whether from childhood or adulthood, can linger and manifest in a variety of unexpected ways if left unaddressed. These experiences have the potential to haunt you long into adulthood unless they are properly addressed.
How does it affect us as adults?
Even when you attempt to move on from early life adversities, the injured child within can remain tethered to their effects. Without suitable assistance and therapeutic intervention, this part of you might still be burdened with unresolved suffering and pain.
The impact of such past hurts can often re-emerge during stressful periods or when something serves as a reminder. These memories might range from faint to quite conspicuous, yet they persistently linger.
Likely, these early adversities continue to show up in your present life – manifesting as depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, or a variety of compulsions. You may face challenges with trust, battle low self-esteem consistently, or grapple with a fear of judgment. These symptoms might compel you to go to great lengths to please those around you or might lead to outbursts due to accumulated frustration. Even the most courageous can be debilitated by social anxiety if it remains unaddressed.
Signs of repressed childhood trauma in adults
Repressed trauma from your childhood can manifest in various forms in adulthood, often surfacing as subtle or even severe symptoms that may seem unrelated. Common indicators can include unexplained anxiety, chronic depression, and difficulty maintaining relationships. Adults with repressed trauma may also struggle with emotional regulation, displaying sudden mood swings or heightened emotional reactions. There might also be recurring nightmares or flashbacks linked to uncertain memories. Physical symptoms, such as unexplained aches and fatigue, can also point to underlying trauma. These signs, though individual in their occurrence, are all potential clues pointing towards unresolved issues from a troubled childhood. Recognizing these symptoms is a crucial first step in seeking professional help and starting a healing journey.
What therapy is used to treat childhood trauma?
In addressing the deep-seated effects of early life adversities, various therapeutic techniques come into play. These methods can range from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, and psychodynamic therapy to more creative approaches like art and play therapies. Even family or group therapies can prove beneficial. The primary aim of these techniques is to foster resilience and empower individuals, both young and old, to construct healthier narratives of their past experiences.
A highly recognized figure in this arena is Megan Corrieri from Northstar Counseling & Therapy. With her extensive skill set and certifications in a wide array of therapeutic techniques, she brings an unparalleled depth of knowledge to her practice. More than her technical expertise, it’s Corrieri’s unwavering dedication to her clients that sets her apart. Her exemplary success rate attests to this commitment; by February 1, 2023, every single client who began their therapeutic journey under her guidance in Frisco, Texas – each one driven by a resolve to overcome – has succeeded.
Such a track record has led to much-deserved recognition. Corrieri’s outstanding work has earned her accolades such as the Best Therapist in Plano, TX, and a spot among 2022’s Top Healthcare Professionals in Frisco, TX. Her commitment and skills, combined with her comprehensive understanding of how painful past experiences can influence an individual’s present, have cemented her reputation as a leading light in the field of trauma therapy.
What are the types of childhood trauma?
Childhood traumas can take various forms, often categorized into two main types: acute and chronic trauma. Acute trauma results from a single distressing event, such as a natural disaster, severe accident, or an isolated instance of physical abuse. Chronic trauma, on the other hand, involves repetitive, prolonged exposure to harmful situations. This might include ongoing physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, or neglect over an extended period.
For instance, early childhood trauma can arise from situations of neglect, where a child’s essential physical and emotional needs are consistently unmet. Neglect could be as extreme as not providing meals or failing to attend to a young child’s cries for attention. Another form of trauma during childhood could be emotional abuse, which may involve persistent criticism, humiliation, or rejection.
Physical and sexual abuse can also result in profound early-childhood-trauma. The physical abuse might involve hitting, shaking, or other forms of harmful contact, while sexual abuse includes any sexual activity involving a child, including inappropriate touching, exposure to sexual acts, or coercion into sexual activity.
Furthermore, the traumas of childhood can stem from witnessing domestic violence or living in a home where drug abuse or severe mental illness is present. Each of these experiences can leave deep, lasting emotional scars and impact a child’s development and ability to form healthy relationships later in life.
Moreover, societal issues such as racism, discrimination, and poverty can also serve as sources of chronic stress and trauma in early childhood. These systemic factors can create an environment of sustained tension and fear, significantly impacting a child’s mental and physical health over time.
Do emotional wounds heal when inflicted with trauma as a child?
Absolutely, healing from emotional wounds inflicted by early-life adversities is possible! The path to recovery often involves seeking a therapist well-versed in psychoanalytic or psychodynamic therapy approaches. Remember these crucial points as you start your journey:
A secure, therapeutic environment that fosters trust is imperative. Your therapist should understand and accept any initial skepticism or wariness you may bring. The importance of finding a therapist who can discern how your past, particularly challenging experiences, shapes your present, cannot be overstated. You might need several sessions to adequately explore your feelings. They should comprehend your emotional origin. If not, don’t hesitate to search for someone with whom you feel at ease sharing your story.
Embracing, promoting, and non-judgmentally acknowledging all emotions, whether they stem from fear, deep-seated grief, or intense anger, is crucial. Your therapy should progress at a pace that suits you, without pressure or judgment. Take the necessary time to advance in your healing journey at a comfortable pace. What you need is a response filled with understanding, compassion, and empathy.
The vulnerable inner child within you deserves protection and appreciation. However, mere understanding isn’t enough; it’s vital that your guide possesses specific knowledge about how early-life adversities affect your unique circumstances. Such insight will shed light on the specific impacts these experiences have had on you.
You don't need to suffer anymore from past trauma.
With the help of this therapy and by allowing yourself time for healing, you can start making progress towards overcoming your traumatic events. Take the steps needed to heal your soul today. Northstar Counseling & Therapy has trained therapists that will discuss your options and answer any questions you have in the initial 15 minute consultation.