fbpx

Trauma Does Not Have to be a Life Sentence

By Psychologist Marcela Costanzo
View Marcela's Profile
In an ideal world every child will be nurtured, loved and protected. Unfortunately, as my news feed keeps reminding me, we don’t live in an ideal world, the world is not a fair place and numerous children encounter adverse and even traumatic situations far too early in life.

These highly traumatising life events may involve experiences of abuse and neglect, domestic violence or a hostile divorce, just to name a few. Very often, these early experiences create an unhelpful template that people replicate in adult relationships with partners, children, and even employers.

As we routinely see in the therapy room, people carry narratives that sometimes originated in these early traumatic experiences. Numerous clients get really stuck in their narratives of abandonment, or defectiveness and of course they don’t always see that those early adverse experiences are at the origin of those narratives.
An active present focused therapy like Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT) brings hope because, even when the negative impact of those early experiences is strong, our work starts by helping people develop a sense of inner safety (sometimes for the first time in their lives), develop coping skills, process traumatic memories, heal and learn to meet their needs in a healthy way that may not have been available at an early age.
Three critical ACT processes – being present, opening up, and doing what matters – provide opportunities for people to take distance from unhelpful and unwanted narrative, connect with what they really care in life and commit to actions. These powerful ACT skill sets help people quickly learn that they can become grounded, begin to heal, cultivate self-compassion and acknowledge that their past experiences of trauma do not need to define who they really are here and now. An ACT approach fosters willingness to experience those painful narratives and feelings as a mental process, strongly validating the emotions associated with them and at the same time reducing behavioral avoidance. ACT is a very active therapy, where people learn skills to mindfully make room for difficult mental and physical experiences, without judgment but rather with a kind, curious and self-compassionate attitude.

Have you had experiences of trauma or adverse childhood experiences? Are you feeling stuck and struggling now? Why not give ACT and mindfulness skills building a go? After all, it is never too late to give your inner child a chance to lead a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
Marcela Costanzo - Central Brisbane Psychologist
About the Author
Marcela is a clinical psychologist and ACT clinician who is passionate about using modern cognitive behaviour therapies, in particular Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (i.e. ACT!), to help ease many common human struggles. Marcela is a Board-approved supervisor and able to offer supervision to registrars (Clinical psychology).
View Marcela's Profile
5 Reasons Why Accessing Therapy via Telehealth May be Right For You
Read More
Trauma Does Not Have to be a Life Sentence

In an ideal world every child will be nurtured, loved and protected. Unfortunately, as my news feed keeps reminding me, we don’t live in an ideal world, the world is not a fair place and numerous children encounter adverse and even traumatic situations far too early in life. These highly traumatising life events may involve […]

Read More
Redefining Success: Ditch Resolutions, Embrace Your Values

By Ms Ali V Flint Learn more about Ali The January air seems thick with a kind of angsty, overwhelmed, tension, laced with melancholy of the holidays end and a brave hope for a more joyful, abundant, promising New Year. We are almost through January now, and the excitement of a fresh start might be […]

Read More
Get in touch

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Preferred Contact Number

    Your Message

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Address
    7 Marie Street, Milton
    Brisbane, QLD 4064
    Phone
    07 3193 1072
    Social
    Opening Hours
    Monday, Thursday, Friday:  8:30am-5:30pm

    Tuesday & Wednesday: 8:30am-9pm
    (receptionist available until 6pm).