Healing From Childhood Trauma: How to Take the First Steps

Healing From Childhood Trauma: How to Take the First Steps

Healing from childhood trauma is challenging, but not impossible. Learn how Uplift Psychology Group is here to help you take the first steps.

“I shouldn’t be struggling with this.” “It was a long time ago, and it shouldn’t affect me anymore.” “It was my fault for letting them treat me like that.”

Sound familiar? If you’re struggling to take the first steps in healing from childhood trauma, it might.

Healing is a process of having compassion for your past self. It’s a process of getting past any self-shaming and working through the pain underneath.

How do you take the first steps on the road of healing from childhood trauma? Here’s a brief guide to getting started.

Acknowledge the Trauma

This first step is usually the hardest: to admit that the trauma did occur.

If you have spent years avoiding thinking about a traumatic childhood event, or insisting to yourself that “it wasn’t that bad,” it can feel devastating to acknowledge the truth.

Yes, it happened. Yes, it was traumatic.

Acknowledging the trauma often brings up a slew of fears and emotions, such as:

  • Anger at the person/s responsible
  • Shame about what occurred
  • Fear that healing isn’t possible

Acknowledging that trauma happened doesn’t mean you hate the person/s responsible, who is or are often a beloved family member or friend. It doesn’t mean that you are beyond help. In fact, it means just the opposite: that you’ve taken the difficult first step towards healing.

Give it a Name

Think about your favorite classic scary movie. Did the monster pop out at the main character right away? Probably not — more likely, the filmmakers prolonged the big reveal until the last possible moment.

That’s because however scary the monster finally turns out to be, there is nothing more frightening than the unknown.

The same holds true in healing from childhood trauma. As long as your experience remains hidden in the shadows of your mind, like a monster that you’re too afraid to look at, it rules you through fear. One of the first steps in coping with trauma is choosing to look that scary memory in the face.

How do you do that? Identify it. Give it a name.

This could be as simple as:

  • Naming your emotions: “When I think about what happened, I feel so angry.”
  • Naming the event: “He said it was normal, but now I know it was abuse.”
  • Naming your need: “What happened was serious, and I need help.”

This doesn’t mean giving yourself a diagnosis — a trained psychologist or therapist will help you with that part when the time comes. It simply means letting yourself identify what you’re going through and validating the experience.

Accept Hope

If you’ve lived your entire adult life with the burden of childhood trauma, it likely feels “normal” to you. Change — even change for the better — feels threatening. You may find yourself avoiding the prospect of healing with questions like:

  • Who will I be without my trauma?
  • How could I change so much now?
  • What if I try to get better, and I only end up in more pain?

It’s scary to admit that you need healing, but that you don’t yet have all the answers. Hope fills the gap and keeps you moving forward.

Can I Find Healing From Childhood Trauma?

Yes, you can. Healing from childhood trauma can happen.

If you are looking to begin your healing journey with licensed therapists in San Jose & Campbell, Santa Clara, CA, contact us at Uplift Psychology Group today.

With teletherapy options to stay in touch no matter the circumstance, we are here to walk with you throughout your healing process. You can also schedule a first, free consultation with one of our therapists here.

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