Trauma and How to Treat It!
Hello, everyone. This is your host, Michelle, and you’re listening to the Mindful podcast, the show that aims to break the stigma surrounding mental health. Today we’ll be discussing trauma, how it affects your body, how it is manifested in your relationships, and a few ways to treat it with Natalia Salderiaga, who is a licensed mental health counselor specializing in developmental trauma. All right, welcome. How are you today? Fine, thank you. Excited. I’m excited to have you. We have Natalia here with us. She’s going to be talking about trauma, ways to treat traumas, and trauma in general. I’m going to let you, for those who don’t know you, introduce yourself, maybe give us a little bit of personal and professional background. Okay, so my name is Natalia Valeriaga. I’m a psychotherapist. My specialty is on trauma, and in particular, I would say developmental trauma. So it’s all those little things, all the little stories that are in our body that are on tone. Nice tone with the tone. Nice. And how did you get into the world of psychology? Well, going way back, actually, I was in premed and biology for three years, and I got pregnant. Oh, my God. And at that point, real talk. I got pregnant. I was already married. I was married, but something in me came to the realization that I was doing premed not for myself, but actually for my mother. And psychology was actually my calling. I’ve always been curious about people, and I think I wanted to further my understanding of myself and my family. Okay, so you quit med school, got pregnant, had a baby, and then you came back and finished school. I continued through my pregnancy. I stopped, actually, for three years to take care of. Actually, that’s not true. I stopped working for three years. The first three years. Okay. But I went to school while I was pregnant. And during my first three years, it was really interesting because I was doing all the psychology part, and I was doing behavior modification, and it was really neat because my son was going through all his developmental stages, and I was using psychology to kind of understand and guide myself. That’s nice. No, it definitely helps in all kinds of relationship. And why specialize in trauma? Why trauma? That’s a good question. Feel free. Feel free to disclose. Actually, I don’t think I felt comfortable talking about this until I started training. And at first, I realized that usually when you’re doing a trauma training, people disclose their why. Right. When I read your question, it’s like, oh, the why? I started doing it when I’m training people as well. So my why, of course, there was trauma in my life as well. In particular, I have a long history of trauma and therefore really specializing in developmental trauma. Right. And so it really became an exploration of myself and again, like, my family of origin generational trauma and really understanding that and then really to be honest, I really became even more specialized in it after adopting. I adopted two girls with a tremendous wow. Congrats. Thank you. Amount of trauma. And I realized I felt like an expert before adopting, and then after adopting, I realized I am definitely not an expert. I need to learn a lot more about this. Okay. I’m in a whole different level now. What level are you now? Just what level? From zero to ten, how do you feel? Oh, my goodness. From zero to ten. Well, to be honest, I don’t think we ever stop learning, so I don’t think I’ll ever be at a ten. I’ll probably be you’re one of those I don’t want to sound like I’m perfect, but I’m kind of perfect. Very close to a ten. But I can’t say ten because I’m a therapist and we all learn. No, to be honest, I wouldn’t even say I’m close to a ten. I really believe that. If anything, I’m at a five. Okay. Probably. Well, room to grow, like you said. So when we talk about drama, when we talk about well, there is drama. When we talk about trauma or in specific about your trauma, can you give us a little bit more into detail of your experience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but just so people can actually grasp the concept of generational trauma and all those different concepts coming from you, from your side, and then we’ll go to the patient side. All right. So generational trauma really happens when there is multitude of traumas within the family system. Right. And then they are passed on over and over and again through genetics, through environmental aspects. Right. So in my case, there has been generational trauma of domestic violence, sexual abuses, pretty much the whole nine yards. Okay. So it’s pretty severe. I think it would take us hours and hours of this. Okay. Yes. And I mean, now you’re laughing about it. Right. But I can imagine when you started your whole career and your healing path and all that, then you were not laughing about it. Well, definitely, yes. I mean, in part I love psychology because I had to participate in therapy early on my teen years. During my teen years, I had to, and that’s when it started. And as an adult, I do believe that as a therapist, it’s very important that we work on our mental health. So I’ve done all of the kinds of therapies, I mean, Hypnotherapy, MDR, Nets, you name it, I’ve tried it, and it’s really helped me heal. But with developmental trauma in particular, which we’re going to talk about, there is so much there’s years and years and years of packed trauma that in reality, you’re working for the rest of your life on yourself and making sure that you’re working hard and maintaining what you’ve gained. Nice. Well, before we get into that deep of a subject, can you go back and talk in general, what is trauma? What are the most prevalent kind of traumas that there is in people in general? Okay, so if you talk to some experts, right, they’ll talk about the big t’s and the little t’s, which I don’t necessarily see them that way. So big t’s for people are things like rape, things like war, things like getting assaulted. A car crash can be considered a big t, right? And then the little t’s are considered things that happened every single day, right? So if we talk about developmental trauma, right, we’re talking about things that happen in the home every day that you’re being put down psychologically, physically, sexually, and it’s little things that you wouldn’t necessarily pick up on, maybe a touch, maybe a word, but it’s happening over and over again. So the reason I don’t like to differentiate in the little t’s, big t’s is because the big t’s, right, if a person who has had no developmental trauma has a big teeth, so gets into a car crash, gets raped, right? That is something that we can work and we can work and we’re going to be able to overcome pretty quickly. Right, okay. But when there’s developmental trauma and there’s those little teeth over and over years and years yeah, there’s always big teeth. Wow. Okay. Then we’re talking about work that is ongoing for long periods of time. So in reality, those little t’s combine to make a monumental t, right? So at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if it’s big or little. It’s all about the quantity. Like you said, you have a lot of little t’s, it could be the same as one big t, this whole tea conversation. So you just call it trauma. Yeah. Okay. And they can be any kind of trauma going from, like you said, a car crash, rape, domestic violence, to any little trauma with a parent or just argument, a critical parent every single day putting you down. Okay, right. Because at the end of the day, it’s how it affected you. Right. So I’ve had people who have severe trauma, and then we go back and we go to this moment in time where you wouldn’t really necessarily think it’s a big deal, but at the time the child was five, let’s say. Right. That point exactly. That little t seems humongous because a five year old doesn’t have the coping skills to deal with that little t. And everybody copes with their issues differently, right? So I might have a big t and I’m like, I’m fine, I can deal with it. A couple of therapy sessions and then you have it and you’re like, destroyed. We all have different resilience in our lives. Great topic. When it comes to trauma, what are some of the most common symptoms that you may see in trauma? Okay, so usually what people think about when they think about trauma is PTSD, right? So they think about the avoidance the nightmares, the flashbacks, the Russell of the body, right. Hyper vigilance. But again, when we talk about developmental trauma, there’s so much more. And one thing that I really have come to realize is borderline personality disorder is really what you see in developmental trauma, which is that difficulty not only with relationships, right. But this dysregulation within relationships, the inability to be reciprocal in a relationship, to really the dance of back and forth, of being kind and loving and maybe we get upset and being able to really repair after being upset. Right. So you have a hindrance of our social interaction, a hindrance of relationships when it comes to developmental trauma. I love the fact if we can go to dialectical behavior therapy, the way they describe it, even though they’re not talking about trauma per se, they talk about this biosocial theory they have. Right. And so they say some people are born with this genetic predisposition for sensitivity. Right. So these people have difficulty feeling too much and maybe having a low level of impulse control. Right. And then they have the environmental piece. Whereas if you are invalidated over and over again, which is trauma. Right. Then you can also get the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. The way I see it as a trauma therapist is these people that are born with this predisposition for sensitivity is because of the generational trauma. Right. Usually in these homes, the mother, the father doesn’t have the ability to nurture this child who cries often. Right. Because them themselves have been dysregulated. Yeah, that’s how they were raised. Exactly. And so this trauma continues and the child ends up being an adult who has incredible difficulty self regulating, being having fear of abandonment, fear of rejection, difficulty with identity. It’s so complex. Right. So again, we can put it down to you have nightmares, you have flashbacks, you avoid the trauma, how it happened, when, where, who, right, everything that relates to it. But there’s so much more to that and I mean, we can get into get into it. Hey, sister, that’s what we’re here for, right? We want to talk all the little details about diagnosing or the diagnosis itself, what it entails. So anything that you want to share, please feel free. Let me ask you though, so is trauma stored in your body 100%? And actually, since you asked that question, then we can really go in. Right. So what happens? I’m going to compare developmental trauma with a big T, with somebody that has no previous developmental trauma. How does it get stored in the body? I really like how some theories explain that when we’re little before the age of three, all our memories are sensory memories. And so we have no ability to create this concept of the memory as a picture. It’s all just in the body. Right. So people have this idea that, oh, he’s not going to remember, he’s one. That’s not a lie, that’s not true. That’s a lie. And the body has been storing these memories since the baby was in the womb. They’re just stored as sensory memories, right. They’re in your autonomic nervous system. And so this is true with developmental trauma, right? Because everything is stored prior to not everything, but a lot of it prior to being able to speak. But it’s also true in Big T’s, because in Big T’s, what happens is imagine somebody gets into a car crash, right? What does the body do? The body dissociates because it’s trying to protect itself from feeling too much. Same as a rape, right? A rape. You’re getting raped, you’re dissociating from your body, your body’s trying not to feel anything to survive. In that point where your body dissociates, all the memory gets stored as a sensory memory, not as the actual memory. Exactly. Okay, and so that’s what you see a lot of people that either there’s like two groups, right? Either you have the perfect memory of the trauma, like it’s called flashlight memory, or you have people who completely forget they blocked it, or, I mean, you have little pieces, but all those pieces that are missing, or even if the whole thing is missing, is just there in your autonomic nervous system. Store as a sensory memory. And when you have a client that has that sensory storage, how do you get it out? Do you want to get it out? And what is the best way to get it out without causing them to relive this traumatic event or is a purpose for them to relive it? So that is a very good question, and I would say not everybody’s different. Right. And when I think about how I’m going to work with a person, even though I don’t base myself only in dialectical behavior therapy, I’m using it a lot because they have a beautiful model when it comes to how to treat the person. It’s called the house of treatment. And so there’s three levels, right? And the first level is when a person is just destroying their life. So think about somebody who’s using drugs and is just destroying their life or just going and having sex with everybody, right? Yeah. Or just promiscuous. Yeah. Anything that will destroy your life, right. That’s where they’re at. And then the second level is where the person is able to maintain kind of like their daily activities, the family, the average. Exactly. But they’re at work, they’re in pain, okay? So you wouldn’t see this person being in pain. They’ll be in internal pain. And then the third level is when a person is already kind of like has talked about their trauma or has processed it in whatever form and is just working on just general happiness. Okay? Right. So if a person comes to me and they are in stage number one, right, they’re not going to be able to work on the trauma. And the best thing I can do to help them in that moment is, again, with dialectical behavior therapy. You work really on skills, and we’re working on reciprocity on you come to me and you are going to tell me whatever, talk about whatever, being able to be vulnerable and just fall apart. And I’m here. I’m not going to fall apart with you. Which is what they’re used to, you see, and people like that in their relationships are very there’s a lot of turmoil in their relationship. So what they’re used to is, if I’m not feeling well, either my mother’s also going to fall apart, or my emotions are going to hurt or destroy others. Right. But when they come to session, that’s not what they get. I’m not going to be destroyed by your emotions. So that is a healing. You’re breaking the cycle, too. They’re like, wait, you don’t feel sorry for me? It’s like, no, we’re here to work on your issues. You can call your mom for that. You’re not paying me for this. I’m funny sometimes. Okay, so that’s the first stage. Yes. You’re holding report. Well, it’s not only building rapport in that moment, you’re holding them and giving them skills. Right? And some people can only get to there some people it will never be appropriate for them to look at their trauma. It will not be appropriate right now for other people who you can see that they’re ready. And I always gauge my clients, right? I’m like, I gauge that they are and then you also gauge where they are. So there are people who are very comfortable talking. There are people who cannot speak, and there are people that are in the middle. So let’s start from bottom up. So if a client comes to me and they can’t speak, so I immediately go to bilateral stimulation. Right? So what does bilateral stimulation do? So there’s different types of bilateral stimulation. I like the one that has to do a lot with it’s a form of art therapy. I’m not an art therapist. I’m not licensed as an art therapist. I use a lot of art, and my bilateral simulation in particular uses, and I want to create a picture in your mind. So I use crayons. The person puts paper on their table, and the paper needs to be taped on the table. And what you do is that you think about the memory, right? Or you think you don’t even have to have a memory. You think about the feeling, whether it’s a smell, whether it’s a body sensation that is really bothering you. And there’s different types of movements. You can do guided or unguided, depending on the person you gauge. And they have to, with their eyes closed, both hands at the same time, do bilateral stimulation. But it’s a body process which is very different from EMDR, which they do have the tones, the eye movement, but it’s not a full body. Okay. And so I love the full body, whether it’s through movements for kids, which there’s different ways to do that, or with the crayons for adults and kids. Of course, what that does is that it allows the sensation to come out on the paper. And so what you want to do and what I really like about this technique is that when you think about a session with a client, right? You think about you get them in that place where they’re really feeling, and then they’re coming out, and then you kind of calm them down. This is not what we do in my sessions. We kind of go almost it’s like teeth up and down, up and down, up and down. Right. So we are getting into your trauma, and we’re coming down, and it’s all being used through this. So we’re feeling it, and then we’re calming. We’re feeling, we’re calming. So what are they learning in there? They’re learning that it’s okay to see their feelings. They’re reprocessing. Right. Because there’s a part that is happening in the brain. It’s connecting. It’s just seeing everything in a different way. And they’re learning that it’s okay to feel and they don’t have to fall apart. So it’s so important. Yes. They’re changing the narrative, learning how to feel. Yes. Amazing. Yes. Another thing that I love is EMDR talks about and systematic dissensitation, which I love doing as well. We’re not going to talk about, but maybe you are. There’s so many techniques. We can be here for a day. Exactly. But how they define that bilateral stimulation, how they say that it works, is that your brain cannot do two things at once. So you cannot be kind of relaxed and being in the present moment and completely falling in the part in the past at the same time. Right? Yeah. However, there’s another, and I forgot the name of theories that I said something that I just love, and I always repeat it to my clients. When we’re doing the bilateral stimulation, what we’re really doing is, one, listening to the body, and two, allowing the body to move the way it needed to move when the trauma happened. And I see it like, I have clients, and you could see them doing the movements. And I have a client right here in my head that he was just like I can see him running. Like he had to run away. And you could see them just running in the paper. Right. And so that’s part of it. Right. So they leave it on the paper. Now, it’s very important to connect that to your prefrontal cortex, the executive functioning, the verbalization of your trauma. Although some people cannot do it at all. We have to use pictures for it or whatever representation. They can write it. Okay. What I tell them to do at the end is write whatever comes to mind. It doesn’t even matter if it makes sense or it does not. And that again begins to connect the different parts of it. So as we’re doing it, both hemispheres are connecting. As they’re at the end, they’re writing. Then we have the prefrontal cortex connecting. And it’s just amazing. What a different way to do therapy. Everybody here is a regular. You sit down on a couch and you just talk. Right. Like psychotherapy. No, there’s so many other techniques, and specifically this one helps with trauma, but it could be used for anything else for sure. Yeah. That’s amazing. Well, that sounds like a great therapy session. And you use that with all different levels. Correct. And you shape it. You kind of fix it a little bit for the one that can talk or cannot. But I’m integrative. So there are clients who will not touch this method because it is overwhelming. Right. It sounds like a lot, to be honest. And you’re running and then you do and I was like, okay. It’s very active therapy. There’s people that can only do this type. There’s people that can do a combination, and there’s people that can only do talk. Right. For the people that can only do talk that I can see that it’s only because they’re truly afraid of that connection. We warm and warm and warm, and after a couple of sessions, I might go a little how about we stand up and raise our hands? Now run. Maybe I said it wrong because you’re envisioning the person actually running. No, I know they’re not running, but it’s in the paper and the type they’re feeling, so they do movement as they draw. So yeah, he’s running. I got it. Right. Oh, my God. So you touched a little bit already on how trauma might manifest in your relationships or your own self. Can you give us a little bit more detail on how it would affect our relationship, whether it’s with our parents, our children, our friends, love, relationships and your own relationship. Okay, so we could do relationships. Can we start with there? Okay, so relationships are when it comes to romantic relationships, I see it a lot. I also do marriage counseling, and I take a different stance than a lot of therapists. So I use a little bit of Gottman Method, which I really enjoyed. And Gottman Method is founded in behavioral therapy, so it’s part of another passion of mine. However, when I see two people, I really am looking at their trauma because a lot of my clients that come to therapy, what they’re doing is that their inner child, it’s constantly at war, and it’s constantly at war with a partner. Right. So I saw this quote, and I don’t remember who wrote it, but it said, the real language of love because they have the book The Five Languages of love. The real language of love is understanding. And you know what I’m going to add being compassionate towards your partner’s trauma and being able to be there and acknowledge when your partner is feeling like their inner child. Right. But you kind of have to not kind of you have to be healed yourself before you could even understand your partner’s healing. That’s a really good point. Right? That’s a really good because what happens when they both come in and they both have inner child work and how do you manage that? Because I can be the I don’t want to call it a mature one, but the one that maybe didn’t have big t’s or little t’s or maybe I did my own self work, self healing. I’ve been through my therapy myself. I understand my generational trauma, and then my husband’s like, no, just this child. Right. But I’m able to handle it maybe a little bit better because I get it, I get it. I was there, I worked through it. But what if I haven’t? Are those the ones that end up in divorce? I mean, I don’t know. You tell me. Oh, my goodness. That’s a good point. So let’s talk a little bit. I’ll talk about what I do and how I work with that, but I want to talk about the different types of attachments real quickly because you touched on that with your statement. Yeah. So if you have trauma, it means that there’s four types of attachments, right. There is the anxious attachment, there’s the dismissive, secure, and disorganized. Mind you, in trauma work, disorganized is not really viewed as disorganized. It’s organized by safety, how safe you feel. And so when you’re talking about one of the partners knows their trauma has worked, that person probably started with either a disorganized, dismissive, or anxious attachment and has worked closer to a more secure attachment. Right. And so what that does, even if the partner okay, even if the partner has a dismissive, anxious, or disorganized and with a caveat on disorganized, because disorganized can be really chaotic and a secure partner will not stay with a disorganized that is too chaotic. So that’s where the divorce would come in. However, a person who has a secure attachment or more of a secure attachment can heal a person with anxious or dismissive attachment because of that understanding why a person and let’s imagine right? Let’s imagine a person with an anxious attachment and a person with a secure attachment kind of interacting in a fight. So the person who has anxious attachment is going to want a lot of closeness. It’s going to like, oh, my God, tell me all about no, we’re going to finish this right now. We’re going to talk about everything. Right. That’s definitely not me, by the way. And the secure attachment would be able to soothe okay, you know what? I can see that you really want to talk about this. Let’s sit down. Are you done with your tantrum? Good. Five more minutes. Is that passive aggressive? That would not be a secure attachment. Oh, my God. Okay, well, maybe I didn’t say I was. Maybe I’m halfway there. All right. Now, this would be a work that would be easier, right. Because one of the partners is closer to secure. This would be something that we can kind of manage and just lead by example. So they’re able to almost soothe themselves because they see the other person soothing themselves. No, it’s more a co regulation. Okay. Yeah. So much I know, I know it’s a big subject, but let’s just make it I don’t want to say it small, but let’s put the basics of it so people can really understand. So the secure partner is soothing, the other one is not. That yeah, there’s modeling. Modeling. But the real healing part is being able to soothe the partner. Okay. Because people with insecure attachments right, with anxious or dismissive or disorganized were not given that they were not soothed when they needed. For example, the person that has not worked through their issues is fighting. How would the other person soothe? Well, it depends. Well, you got to give me a scenario. Here an example. I don’t know. Maybe he’s just mad and irritated because she’s not doing the things the way he wanted. I don’t know. Or maybe he wants more time with her so he’s throwing a fit because she’s going out on girls night out. I don’t know. He’s just being overly dramatic or just I guess the attachment will be like, don’t leave me, I want you with me. So he’s just, like, getting mad. How would the other person soothe him? Yeah. So imagine this. So he’s doing that, and the woman has a secure attachment. She might say, Baby, I know you want to be with me. I want to be with you, too. Can we go out tomorrow? I’ll be just you and me. I see that you’re frustrated. I promise you I’m going to be thinking about you all night long. Okay. As opposed? As opposed to a dismissive attachment will be like, what’s wrong with you? Yeah, it’s not a big deal. Yeah. What do you want from me? Exactly. It’s always the same thing. Always. You just don’t want me to go out. I get it. Exactly. It’s always about you. Exactly. Yeah. That’s when it becomes toxic. That’s when you tell your friend, time to seek therapy. Couples therapy would be wonderful. So then let me explain how I would work with two partners that have, let’s say one has insecure, one has dismissive, which happens a lot. Okay. Right. What I would do, obviously, we hope and wish that they both were in trauma therapy individually right. Now. Is this possible a lot of the times? No. Why? It’s extremely expensive if you are covered by insurance. Right. Especially medicaid, the therapists are not going to be having the training. As if you actually go and pay a certain amount of money. Right. A certified private therapist. Exactly. And so what happens a lot is they have. To choose. They’re like, My marriage is about to end. And just fun fact, people don’t go and find marriage counseling until about six years that they’ve had difficulty. So they’re literally like, either you fix this, or we’re getting a divorce. There’s that stigma where if you go seek help, it’s like you’re crazy, or the relationship is bad. They always wait till the end when they’re desperate. No, go before go when your wife tells you, Please, can we go to therapy? Listen to her. Just go. Because then you wait. What the six years of the average? That’s insane. And then at that point, everybody wants to kill each other. Exactly. The kids. It’s like a whole thing. That’s how it starts. That’s how it starts. And so what I’ve developed, which is something that I came up with, like a structure, my own theory. My own theory. It’s a combination. So I love this. The polyvagal theory has a lot of techniques for that co regulation that I talked about before. So what I tell people is I have to see each partner alone for four sessions. In those four sessions, I provide them psycho education on that core regulation piece and self regulation piece, and I am able to touch a little bit on those traumas enough so that, one, I have a lot of connection with both partners, which is very important. So there’s no triangulation. You’re not getting into their fights and taking sides. Right. And then what’s happening is, when we are together right. And I actually make them sign a paper that says, you cannot tell me anything that you don’t want to tell your partner. Very important. Oh, my God. Very important. Don’t tell me. I will tell it. Exactly. There’s no it’s the three of us, we’re here. Right? And so then when we get together, then they already have some co regulation skills. Right. And when we get to the nitty gritty of it, then I’m able to really help them soothe each other, see what’s going on with each other, look at that inner child, and really begin to heal together. That’s amazing. And I’m sure that’s a very rewarding place to be at when the couples, they come hate you all this, and then they’re like, the best. Yeah. And as a trauma therapist, probably my favorite things to do are family therapy and couples, because it is incredibly rewarding. Did you want to talk about specific diagnosis relating to trauma? We kind of did PTSD and borderline personality personalities. Is there anything else you wanted to expand on that I think, to be honest, we can get really deep, but I mean did but I think there’s a lot of that’s going to take much TMI. Got it. Okay. Which, I mean, in another time, if you want to do did yeah. We can do a different segment on that specific thing, but I think we covered everything, so we might start talking about the holistic. Okay. And then anything else you think about it or any recommendations. Okay, great. When it comes to the people that might not feel comfortable going to a traditional therapist, what are some holistic ways to treat trauma? All right. And I don’t want to say treat, because I do think that it’s important to be able to process things. But my answer is going to be based on, again, the polyvagal theory and bilateral stimulation. Right. And what that has taught us is that anything that allows our body to move the way it needed to move right. Is going to be healing. And so it can be anything as dancing, yoga, martial arts. I myself, the yoga martial arts run. Yes. Good to know. Yes, it’s very should I be afraid? What belt are you on? Be specific. I just started. When it comes to serious, I’m only a yellow belt. Okay. However, I have done years of body combat, just conditioning. Okay. Yeah. I do boxing. Want to throw that out there just in case myself. So, yeah, that is important. And what that does and yoga in particular, actually, yoga can be used to treat trauma. And why is that? Because a lot of the movements release trauma that was stored. So there’s certain types of yoga that are safer for people that don’t have the therapist working for them. Vinyasa and things like that. Now, ying yoga in particular, because you have to spend longer periods of time in one pose. It can be very overwhelming and almost retraumatizing if you don’t have somebody to talk to process that. And so you’ll see a lot of people that do yoga, and then they come to that place of shavasana when they’re just laying down and you see them just crying and just really yeah, that’s the part I sleep. No, not all the time, but it has happened. Yeah. And at the beginning, right. But once you really process and that won’t happen anymore, you’ll be at peace with being along with your mind. I actually experienced it because now I don’t have time for anything. But I used to have time to go to yoga three times a week, and I was going through a couple of things in my life, and yoga was like my safe space. And I remember one session, I got to it, I did everything, and mid session, I just kind of start like I wanted to cry, and I was like, oh, my God, this is so weird. Right? Do I just get up and go cry and go to the bathroom? Whatever. I kept going with the session. And then when it came to Shavatsana, I didn’t cry because I couldn’t let anybody see me cry. But it was just different. I felt it. I felt the way I was moving my body just kind of released all these things. You’re always just thinking and thinking and thinking, and here you kind of like you’re so focused on your movement, especially if you’re not experienced, like me, like, I don’t fall, stretch it more. But when you really connect your body with your thoughts and just get into that mindful state, it could be very enlightening, highly suggest. It could be overwhelming. I highly suggest anybody that can try yoga to do it, even if you don’t have to be this professional thing, like, no, just go. The teachers will guide you from beginner to advanced. And don’t feel like people are judging you. Nobody’s judging you. Everybody’s going through their own process. Everybody’s there for a different reason. So I definitely love using yoga as a holistic method to treat trauma. But it’s important. Like you said, if it’s too much or it can be too much, then you should definitely seek the side. Therapist you have kids, right? I have three kids. You saw the movie. What’s it called? Inside, where it’s like, all the different emotions. Oh, my God, I love that movie. And I had to explain it to my son, right? I had to say because everybody’s always telling you, don’t cry. Don’t show emotions. Like, why are you sad? Always be happy. Positive mindset. And you’re here like, no, sometimes you have to cry. Sometimes you have to feel that emotion. But it’s very important for you to remember that an emotion is just that you have to let it in and let it out. When you get stuck in the emotion, that’s when it gets a little messy. You need to in through let it go by. And that movie was just great for kids, at least. I mean, I would watch it again, but my kid is the excuse to see the Disney movies. But I really like to see them. Yeah, no, me, too. I love the fact that kind of, like, the resolution of that movie was her allowing herself to feel the sadness, right? And just allowing somebody to have that compassion for her and her having just the realization that it needed to happen. I mean, of course it was a little people inside her head. No, but that’s exactly don’t we all have little people? For sure. I hear myself with a bunch of little people sometimes. I was like, Wait, which one do I listen to? Definitely listen to the one that wants to cry. No, but you feel it the moment you cry, you just feel better. You’ll be all sobbing, and then you’re like, all right, no more tears. I’m done. You go to work. I guess I have to go to work. No, but that’s very important. And I love how some of these kids movies nowadays, they’re getting better with the message. Yes, for sure. Because back in the day, let me tell you, lion King. What is that about? I was like, Wait, what do you mean he died? The dad just died? Why am I watching this at six years old? Think about it. I love that you brought that up. Stories in the past really reflect society in the past. So it’s like we’re living through this trauma, but we don’t know how to fix it. Exactly. So they would show us a trauma in this movie. How do we fix it? Oh, look, Prince Charming is going to fix my trauma. What do I do with this information? Sleeping Beauty says I should just sleep and wait for my prince to just wake me up and it’s all going to be great. Exactly. But now we have movies like Turning Red. I don’t know if you’ve seen that one. Yes, I love that movie. Moana, she saves herself. I love that movie. Frozen speaks about grief and dealing with your emotions. That’s how she controls. Exactly. But no. Yeah, I love all the messages. What would you tell or what would you recommend somebody that is going through trauma right now that might be considering seeking help or doesn’t know what to do next? What I would tell people is, first of all, it is incredibly hard to begin that journey. And so fear of the unknown is common, and don’t feel ashamed of that. Having compassion for yourself is important, and it takes an incredible amount of courage to be able to look at yourself and work through those hard times that were not necessarily caused by you, but were done to you. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that those things are not costing you to do things that are harming yourself, right? And so just acknowledging that part, acknowledging what is actually your responsibility and what was not, and giving yourself compassion for it, you get those people that can do a lot of harm and they blame their past or I had a rough childhood or I didn’t know any better. But at what point do you stop yourself and say, I am responsible for this part of my life, right? Yes. I am responsible to do the inner work. And me being a bad person is just an excuse. You can’t be a bad person just because you had a bad experience, a traumatic experience, or a bad life. Do you agree? Well, I disagree with the word bad. Okay, I’m sorry about my terminology, please. Correct. Let me explain why. I’ve heard psychologists talked about people who are actually really vicious. And I have worked with the Doc, the Department of Correction, so I’ve worked with people who have done harm to others. I’ve worked with people that have been in the streets for 20 years and have had horrific things happen to them and have done horrific things to others. And what I find is that even the person you might find the most disgusting, atrocious, just horrible human being, in matter of fact, it’s just a child who was unseen and hurt over and over and over again. So does that give that person the right to do that harm to others and to blame their past no. However, if we start by seeing the person as bad, we will never get anywhere with that person because a person has always been seen as bad. Right. And it’s really hard to do this. Would you use the word maybe broken? No. What’s the right word? I would probably use the word hurt. Okay. One thing that I explain to the people that I work with is when we work and we’re working towards understanding the past and the hurt that was done to you, we’re not necessarily doing it to blame others, because even if we really go far, which you cannot do with all clients, but with some you can of understanding why those people hurt you, then not only will you be able to be free from that pain and that blaming that you do but you will realize that even those people that hurt you also didn’t have the skills, also had trauma and is just again reoccurring or occurring reoccurring. Right? Again, I think the most important concept here would be compassion would be hurt and not allowing the person or ourselves to relive that pain and hurt by hurting others, which is really what happened. It’s not that the person is inherently bad. The person doesn’t know any better. A lot of the times a person is completely unconscious of how much pain they’re inflicting because their pain is so great that even if I hurt you, I am only doing to you what was done to me. Right. They’re projecting and reliving. Okay? Yeah. And that is why in trauma therapy, the attachment of disorganized is not seen as disorganized. But how safe do I feel? So in a person that’s been hurt, right? Let’s say a person comes in and they look at them in a certain way. Let’s say this person has been hurt violently, sexually, right? And so this person, random person comes in, looks at them a certain way. Now they are feeling unsafe, okay? And they are going to replay this that was done to them onto that poor person that had nothing to do with it, right? And so, again, are they bad or they’re just unconsciously repeating this horrible cycle of pain and anger. And so when I work with somebody, when I work with the people that have hurt people the most, and this is also true with parts of ourselves that are most hurtful to ourselves, right? You want to show the most compassion to those people. Now, this is easier said than done, right? And clinically it’s easy for me to do. Right? We are trained to have this mindset with people, too. No judgment, free empathy. But for the regular people it’s hard. And for most therapists it’s hard. And I could say when I began in the field, it was hard because as a therapist, we also have history. Like I started this that’s true. Interview with yeah. And so as a therapist, if we’re not able to heal those parts, then we’re going to be seeing them as those perpetrators and as bad triggers. Exactly. You yourself can relive all these things. Exactly. So working in ourselves and building that compassion towards ourselves, our pain allows us as therapists, to then see this person and see them as a hurt person and provide that compassion that can begin that healing. Do you see healing? Oh, my goodness, yes. It’s long and painful, and sometimes it feels like it’s never going to happen. And then you see glimpses. It might not be the healing that you would see in a person that has perhaps more insight and perhaps less trauma, but even to those who are just used to hurting others, you can see healing. And the healing might just be as small as being able to have a relationship with a dog. Okay, wow. And that might be good enough. A dog has a relationship with everybody. You’ll be surprised. Some people can’t even I know. That’s what I’m saying. I’m like, that’s insane. I mean, when you put it in that perspective. Yeah. So I guess progress is really defined by the person, and you have to really be able to see the client and see what would progress mean for them, what would healing look like for them? Because if you put the same expectations on everybody no. You’ll fail. Yeah. Everybody’s different. So when we see them in treatment, they have to be treated as such. All right, well, this concludes our conversation. I want to say thank you for coming. Thank you for being so insightful and giving us so much information in trauma. Is there anything else you want to tell our audience? Maybe you can let them know where they can find you if they want to reach you. All right, so it was a pleasure. I really enjoyed the conversation, and you guys can find me at www.copingmyway.com, and I look forward to maybe talking to you again. Yes, let’s do a different episode focusing on more treatment methods for trauma. All right, thank you.