Healing from Trauma: the Stages of Recovery

After experiencing a difficult and life-changing event, the pain or grief can feel endless. Sometimes even a reminder or memory of the painful event can feel like the experience is happening all over again. In these moments, it can be challenging to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to feel like you will be able to get through it all. At the Arizona Center for Marriage and Family Therapy, we want to assure you that although you may feel overwhelmed about the journey ahead, you will get through it.

Healing from trauma is a process, with each of us going through it in our own time and in our own way. Because we know that wounds truly heal with time, we can lay out the process trauma recovery in terms of stages. These stages are an approach to understanding healing and grounding your expectations of the road ahead, and are not the only perspective on moving forward after a painful event. Below are the four stages of recovery we have chosen to outline:

Stage One: Regain sense of safety; establish feelings of stability; and learn to regulate your body when experiencing a trauma reaction.

Stage Two: Overcome the fear of traumatic memories; mourn the losses caused by the trauma; and come to terms with the event that happened.

Stage Three: Reconnect with yourself; lean into meaningful relationships; and integrate your new sense of being into your life.

Stage Four: Develop new insight and wisdom into your strength and power as you have been embarking on your healing journey; allow these lessons learned to empower you as you face future adversity.

The above stages of recovery in the healing process are best achieved when working in collaboration with a mental health professional. Feel free to contact any of our therapists for more information on healing from trauma (you can find their contact information here).


For more information on the article that inspired this post, click here.

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