The people in your life who have survived a major life trauma, such as childhood abuse, war, rape, domestic violence, or work place and school violence are all around us. They are called survivors because of their courage and strength. They have come through hell to be here, give them respect, love, and be a part of their support system.
Some of their basic needs that need to be in place for them to fully heal are:
1. To feel safe.
A safe place is the most important issue for all survivors. Find out from them what that looks like and feels like and provide it.
2. To have you listen with your heart.
Every survivor has a story to tell. Let them speak about it. Listen gently.
3. Creative Expression Encourage their creative expression in any art form that speaks to their spirit.
4. To breathe, and to learn to relax.
Adrenaline and stress reaction and panic attacks may be deeply embedded in their psyches. Direct them to stay present, slowly breathe, and use self talk to comfort themselves.
They are learning new ways of coping with the life they now face. Be patient.
They need to set clear firm boundaries around everything that is important to them.
7. To be open to build a new life with them, and help them try new experiences.
Activities with loved ones in nature or museums, or restaurants …..New environments will open a space to replace sad memories.
8. Professional Support.
Get them all the support they need. There are many support groups, and specialized counselors for trauma survivors. Do not hesitate to contact Medical or Mental Health specialists if you suspect feelings of hopelessness or suicidal tendencies.
9. Believe in them.
Respect the struggle and the effort as they find meaning and hope in their life, and you will see them transform their lives into something worthwhile and meaningful.
10. To make the world a better place.
Healing can come from helping others less fortunate. When we are reminded of our blessings as we reach to lift another person up…it eases our burdens. Speaking about our lives and our joy and our traumas can help others heal…. It can make the world a better place.
Stand by Me…..