Treating PTSD: What’s Your Post-Trauma Identity?
Monday, August 3rd, 2009 • Uncategorized •
OK! Today begins the 7th month of the BRIDGE THE GAP healing workhop. We’ve laid the foundation for creating a healing intention, learning to speak about trauma, educating ourselves, educating others, seeking help and changing unhealthy perceptions.
NOW THE FUN BEGINS! Everything that’s come before is the tough part of focusing and putting in place what we need to heal. For the next 5 months we’ll deliberately construct your post-trauma identity, which means it’s time to switch from the left brain to the right, from analytical to creative, from logic to imagination.
My challenge to you today: Imagine yourself without your trauma.
I don’t mean go back into your past before your trauma existed and try to resurrect that person.
I mean: imagine yourself TODAY without your traumatic experience. Who are you??
PTSD is like a mask; when we remove it there’s a wholly different face beneath it. There’s a whole entire YOU beyond the trauma survivor.
With very little effort PTSD obscures who we truly are. It’s time to start bringing out that person! Set aside your memories today and see the rest of who you are. Take a look in the mirror, observe your interactions with others. What do you see?
BRIDGE THE GAP Exercise
Sit in a quiet place. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it when your lungs are full, let it out through your mouth. Do this 3 times.
Now, allow a picture of yourself form in your mind. Let it come into focus slowly. Tell this picture you want to see who you are outside of trauma. Ask it to show you the rest of yourself. Ask it to represent your dreams, wishes and desires; your talents, qualities and positive traits and characteristics.
Sit still and let the picture fill itself in. A part of you knows who you are. Your subconscious knows who you are. Let that part of you come forward. Let it fill in the picture so that you have a 3D image that is bright, in technicolor, is big and squarely in front of your face.
When the image feels complete focus on it. Notice the details. Take a good look at what your imagination shows you. Be deliberate in looking at each part of the image. Highlight things that you like.
Take a deep breath in through your nose, out through your mouth.
Take a mental photograph of this picture.
This is the you beyond what you’ve grown accustomed to. This is the raw material you’re going to use to become your next and greatest self.
Stare at the picture until it becomes more and more and more real. And then reach out and bring that image to your chest. Imagine it shrinking down to an inch and landing in your heart.
Slowly open your eyes. See the room as the person you just imagined would see it. How does it look, sound, feel?
Spend the rest of the day seeing the world through this other self’s eyes.
For an audio version of this excercise click here.
(Photo: Creative Photography)