What would you do if you were free from some trauma? There are so many aspects of trauma recovery that I get to witness in my work with patients. In fact, sometimes clients want to share with me what they’ve done with their extra time now that they aren’t people pleasing and being perfectionistic as much. I like to think of these moments as post-traumatic growth. We may work week after week on validating and healing their traumas and forget to feel the full extent of their moments of growth through and after some of their healing. When clients come to me with these moments I want to jump up and down. I kind of hold it in a bit since I don’t want them to feel pressure to be toxically positive or always share some growth moment in therapy. But these are huge moments everyone! These are those moments that may feel tiny, but you can’t wait to share them with that friend or family member who is doing similarly in their life.
I’ve had the pleasure of having people share with me in our work together that they feel more rest in their life. I’ve had folks tell me about how they asked for more money from higher ups and are now earning what their counterparts are earning! I’ve had people share with me that they have more room for creativity. Folks share with me about how they even feel more connection! So at the expense of sounding too positive or like that’s the only thing we want to highlight, I do also want to make room for all those times we notice progress. I find it a tricky balance between this old school push for productivity and change and positivity (which I now see as more harmful than helpful in some ways) and simply being. When people just be I get a chance to hear how they feel more rested and creative. I learn how they are when they get to sink into who they really are. It doesn’t mean they were inauthentic all those years they were functioning from a disassociated, traumatized place. It just means we get to acknowledge them being them today, perhaps with less of the protections they once needed.
I’m really grateful to be doing this work and would love to hear a moment of post-traumatic growth you’re noticing in yourself today.