Trauma seems to be a hot topic nowadays. There are endless trainings and workshops, books and studies, ways of approach and healing with focus on Trauma. It is acute, sexual, physical, mental, emotional, psychological, the list goes on and on. So when I speak to a lens of trauma, how do you see it? Does it come in parts or pieces? Is from your past or your present?
I have sat in many discussions and workshops around trauma. I've read books and watched documentaries. I've spoken to colleagues and clients, to adults and teenagers. The common thread I see is FEAR. Fear is tricky, especially when it comes to supporting someone in healing (whatever that is for that particular person).
As a yoga therapist, I have met many people on my mat (which I lovingly refer to my whole office space as). It usually begins with a conversation, a get to know one another, a what are you looking for and wanting to work with. Along with that is a client history form that is confidential to which there is an opportunity (if taken) to speak to past things like trauma. When I see these things we talk about it. Yes, we talk about it. That is, if the person in front of me is okay to talk about it.
Beyond that is where something different happens (then what I've seen/heard other folks do). I leave choice up to my client. I TRUST they will let me know when something is not okay, needs to shift or change. I am not after comfort.
This leads me to another question: What is comfort to you? Is it a place where things change? Is it a place where you can surprise yourself? Do you learn a lot when your comfortable?
I'm guessing transformation probably won't happen in a comfortable place and for that reason, neither will healing.
This is where things can be challenging to explain. Because what happens when we're scared of being uncomfortable?
Here's a list of uncomfortable things:
- a job interview
- putting in your resignation
- sending the wrong food order back
- telling your child to eat their vegetables
- going to the gym for the first time
- getting a haircut
- asking someone to dance
- asking someone out on a date
- talking to your partner about sex
Are you getting the picture? There's something uncomfortable about it, but what happens in the outcome? It's an unknown, right? There's worry! "How will they react? How will I come across? What will the effect be?" We could just not and be comfortable, but what happens....nothing. More of the same.
So if I were to take that lens and turn it toward the subject of trauma it looks like there are 2 options (or really endless possibilities but I'm going to say 2 for the sake of time and the fact that this is a blog post).
1. I can do everything in my power to provide nothing but safety, skirt around & avoid uncomfortable movements, dialogue topics, etc.
2. I can do everything in my power to provide safety and empower the person in front of me to approach discomfort at a level where they feel empowered.
What's your lens?