Trauma Articles

Learning from Abusive Relationships

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

When Depression Becomes DepressingRelationships are hard for everyone, but especially for survivors of child abuse. Before I started my recovery work, I spent years in relationships that were obviously abusive and damaging to my emotional wellness, but I was too blinded by my own trauma to see it.

My family had always taught me that survival depended on having a man in my life. In my family, women kept abusive men around because of this belief.

It was critically important for this to be ingrained in each family member as early as possible. There could be no understanding of their individual power. They must believe they could not survive without a partner or the abuse might not be tolerated.

My Passionate Plea at the United Nations to End Stigma through Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Kathryn Goetzke at the United Nations

I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak on a panel at the United Nations on behalf of myself, my organization iFred, and a group I am working with called FundaMentalSDG. I’d recently been working with Lisa Nichols and Sandra Yancey on speaking my truth, and decided it was time to tell my story. My whole story.

It is my hope that in doing so, people are inspired to get treatment for their own mental health issues so they can go on to lead productive and fulfilling lives, and also that companies start funding programs so that more have access to treatment.

Recognizing Expressions of Spiritual Activism

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

smiling-people

In these last few weeks we’ve witnessed countless bold, inspiring acts of Spiritual Activism, with people holding space for equality, inclusion, justice and love. In case you’ve missed any of them, and need a dose of what’s right in the world, read on.

1. Healing Racism: In the face of great sadness, pain and confusion in the wake of the Mike Brown case in Ferguson and Eric Garner decision in New York, there has been an awe inspiring and very visible response in hundreds of cities and towns, where folks have gathered in great numbers, marched, rallied, prayed and staged “die-ins” calling out for the much needed transformation and healing to end racism.

I’d Never Tell Anyone This, But…

Friday, December 19th, 2014

I’d Never Tell Anyone This, But…I was 12 years old when my 16-year-old cousin got me alone in a room and started feeling me up. I remember being so shaken and scared. I didn’t know what to do.

When I came home, I told my mother. I shall never forget what she said to me: “Stop making up stories. Your cousin is a good boy. You know that. Why would you want to say bad things about him? What’s wrong with you?”

I froze. Could I have imagined the whole thing? Could it not have happened? Could it have been my fault? I ran up to my room and never mentioned the incident again.

Healing My Inner Child

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Healing My Inner ChildDear Inner Child,

You’ve been through so much and I am not sure how you coped. Your strength inspires me with every memory I recover. I know you are the reason we are alive today. And I thank you for all you did to keep going. Sometimes, others ask me how I lived through it and I don’t know the answer.

You carried that burden. And to some extent, you still do.

How to Make Peace with Your Childhood

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

How to Make Peace with Your ChildhoodYour childhood probably is tucked safely away in the past. But many of us underestimate the degree to which childhood events continue to affect our adult lives. It’s hard to imagine that events that occurred decades ago can stay with us, but underestimating their effects — even into adulthood — can be detrimental to our well-being.

Our most critical and influential developmental stages occur in childhood. We’re like sponges, absorbing the good and the bad all around us. It’s during this time that we develop our view of the world and of ourselves. These viewpoints may be developed early on but they often leave a permanent imprint.

Dealing with Betrayal without Betraying Ourselves

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

kenshin__trust_and_betrayal_by_imnoweebo-d7daqulBetrayal is one of the most painful human experiences. We suddenly discover that what we thought was true is not true. When a person we’ve trusted suddenly undermines trust, our world is turned upside down.

Trusting a person means feeling safe with them. We trust that they respect us, care about us, and wouldn’t hurt us, especially intentionally. We feel betrayed as our eyes are suddenly opened to a new reality: what we thought was safe and reliable turns out not to be.

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults: Why Does it Happen?

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults: Why Does it Happen?Researchers believe that society is more willing to report, talk about and act on allegations of the abuse of vulnerable adults. Over the last two years, the number of reports of abuse has risen by almost two percent, according to statistics from the Health and Social Care Information Centre in Leeds, England.

Although it is impossible to determine whether this marks a real increase in adult abuse, or simply an increase in reporting, there are reasons to suggest that the latter may be more likely.

Childhood PTSD: Spanking Is Not ‘About Love,’ It’s About Rage

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

early-start-for-kids-with-autismMy first memory is of being spanked. I was 3 years old, and I didn’t know what I had done wrong. All I know is that it made me terrified of my father and forever doubtful of my safety in my home.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was recently suspended after he was charged with reckless or negligent injury of a child after allegedly spanking his 4-year-old son with a switch. Peterson’s mother Bonita Jackson told the Houston Chronicle that spanking “is not about abuse”:

Quieting the Voice of the Devil on Your Shoulder

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Quieting the Voice of the Devil on Your ShoulderI often equate having schizophrenia to having a little devil on my shoulder that likes to whisper nasty stuff in my ear.

He’s a cunning little jerk, too. If he senses a vulnerability or the potential for anxiety he’ll start screaming.

In the eight years I’ve lived with the illness I’ve come to recognize these triggers and do a pretty good job of avoiding them. You can’t do it forever, though, and eventually the devil is gonna start screaming again.

5 Ways to Reduce Helplessness

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

5 Ways to Reduce HelplessnessWhen trauma hits, we may feel utterly helpless. We may feel powerless, paralyzed, wounded. The trauma may be a physical trauma, such as a car wreck or any kind of abuse; an emotional trauma, such as bullying or poverty; or a community trauma, such as an earthquake or murder, according to Deborah Serani, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in Smithtown, N.Y.

It may be a single experience or a series of events, she said. Either way, the moment is “so extreme that you’re left feeling completely powerless.”

How Somatic Therapy Can Help Patients Suffering from Psychological Trauma

Friday, September 12th, 2014

How Somatic Therapy Can Help Patients Suffering from Psychological TraumaWhatever happens in our lives impacts our mind either consciously or unconsciously. Sometimes events — such as the unexpected death of a loved one, illness, fearful thoughts, near-death accidents or experiences — result in traumas. Psychological trauma causes damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event.

How Somatic Psychotherapy Helps

Somatic psychotherapy is one of the best ways to help patients suffering from psychological traumas cope, recover and live a normal life.

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