Trauma and Loss
Why do we always talk about the loss when we talk about trauma? It is because the loss is one of the greatest causes of trauma - loss of a loved one, financial loss, loss of security, losing oneself, so on… and so it is impossible to not talk about the loss when we speak of trauma.
Why is the loss traumatic? Because we depend our lives on it and see nothing beyond it. But, here’s the thing, we did survive, we do continue to live and breathe.
“My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. They remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger.” — Steve Goodier
When I say this, I do not undermine the grief. Grief (healthy grieving) is a natural and necessary response to any traumatic event. But, it is also important that we do not let these events deprive us of the desire to reach our goals. It is crucial that we do not let our hope be robbed and learn to bounce back to a normal state of functioning.
What is Hope?
According to Snyder, Hope consists of two factors -
Pathway thinking — Perception of one’s capability to generate resources to achieve important goals.
Agency thinking — Perception of one’s capability to use pathway thinking to reach these goals.
The experience of these two types of thinking together is the experience of hope itself. Higher hope has been consistently linked to better results in sports, physical and mental health, occupation, academics, self-esteem, and overall wellbeing.
“A rainbow is a prism that sends shards of multicolored light in various directions. It lifts our spirits and makes us think of what is possible. Hope is the same — a personal rainbow of the mind.” — Charles Snyder, Hope researcher
Three Important Steps to rising and Maintain Hope -
Goal — What is one goal you hope to achieve in the future?
Plan And Action — What small actions can you take that will start moving you closer to this goal?
Believe — Write down 3 short sentences that will help remind you of your capabilities, for instance, “I am capable and resourceful.”
The Hope Theory Worksheet, Kate Snowise (2016), Snyder’s Hope Theory.
Hope is not something that can be achieved overnight, it is a process. One activity might not be the solution, but, it sure can act as a start in your journey of hope.
The Trauma Timeline -
Have you ever seen two people have similar scars? They might have fought the same battle, but their scars are unique, even if they look similar on the outside it may vary on how deep they really are. Similarly, trauma for each one of us is different, whether it’s the intensity or duration.
Some scars self-heal through time and care, but some scars can disrupt our normal functioning and require professional assistance.
What is Trauma Therapy?
A trauma-informed therapist is someone who shares the emotional burden of a traumatic event and provides assistance in recognizing and understanding the complex influence it has on one’s life, both physically and mentally. The therapist works on building strengths and plan interventions based on clients needs for dealing with trauma.
Muskan Gupta, Psychologist, ManoShala