WHEN SKILLS DON’T SOLVE THE CONFLICT: What helps us make progress when couples counseling isn’t enough? Many of my clients come to my private practice office when they are in conflict and want to find their way back to happiness, trust and intimacy. But, after I work with them on their problem-solving abilities, communication, gender difference empathy and many of the other relationship skills, I find something which won’t improve. When the fear, defensiveness, hurt and conflict continue, the problem is usually at a deeper level.
TIME FOR HEALING THERAPY: Most of us feel most comfortable and at peace at home and, if we have an intimate relationship, with our Beloved. And, that comfort can be the place where our wounds show. When we open our hearts, the emotional forms of love we carry are exposed. Our heart holds all of the feelings, the happy ones and the uncomfortable ones. I think of it as our heart’s door opening wide revealing, to our mate, the joys of loving and the agonies of our injuries. And, if we are devoted to staying in the intimate bond, our best friend/lover will experience our woundedness, too. Sometimes this is the natural way of finding arms that hold us while we grieve and heal. And, sometimes grieving can’t heal because it isn’t enough when the injury was so profoundly harmful that it is a trauma. In my opinion, only in this decade are we able to sincerely understand the distinction between a wound and a trauma. And, the means of healing from trauma are not commonly understood yet. It requires more than just talking.
My friend, Wynne, said it beautifully when she wrote this:
TRAUMA RE-ENACTMENT: “When trauma occurs, the traumatized person sometimes seems frozen in time. Others, not having experienced their difficulty, can not understand why this person cannot “get over it.” When in relationship with such a person, it is helpful to remember that the scale and intensity of a person’s behavior is in direct correlation to their unresolved feelings and/or the fear, conscious or otherwise, they have that the traumatizing event is ongoing, or may yet reoccur.
“When we feel safe, we can connect without trauma re-enactment. In such instances, what occurred in the past is able to remain in the past. However, if there is no acknowledgment of the trauma (from oneself or from others) nor remedy perceived and embodied by the traumatized person, they will likely continue to subconsciously recreate the traumatizing event in hopes of -this time- being protected from it.
“One of our challenges as human beings is to realize that we have ALL endured some degree of trauma and the connection we crave is the safety we wish had been afforded us at that time. Meditation, Prayer and Mindfulness, allow us to be the safe place, the thoughtful responder, the loving protector, for another traumatized human, and for our own selves, today and every day.
HEALING TRAUMA: Helping people heal the results of a traumatic experience is not just talk. We have been studying and creating new methods for trauma survivors. Many of those methods are so new that most people haven’t encountered them. My first recommendation, which is available for use at home, is guided imagery audio tracks from the best source: Health Journeys. Belleruth Naparstek is one of my heroes. Her visualizations have been carefully written and recorded for countless problems…even Post Traumatic Stress.
I’m always looking for more methods. If you know about something great, please let me and my readers know.
When the trauma is healed, there may be no remaining conflicts in your relationship. The two of you are free to create a happy life together again.