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Lindsay Gerber, Psy D, Licensed Clinical Psychologist at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, is to recognize when we are engaging in catastrophic thinking. Gerber says that one tip she encourages her patients to use is to ask themselves, “What would you tell your best friend if he/she/they were in this situation?”Offering support to a survivor can involve being receptive and nonjudgmental about whatever symptoms of trauma might be present, and listening to whatever they’re talking about and responding nonjudgmentally as well.“These small acts of physical touch could be so triggering, and that level of control that he allows me to have is beyond helpful.”Some survivors may know and ask for those specific things you can do to help them.Wren, a 24-year-old woman, has experience with helping her best friend from high school cope with the trauma of an abusive relationship.As a survivor of nearly eighteen years of violence and emotional abuse, the pain and anxiety caused by trauma has often felt more to me like getting a haircut — recurring experiences I go through over and over, because the emotional after-effects are ever-lasting.I’ve experienced my fair share of feeling like I’m trapped, or that I will never be worthy of love.Some survivors may have repressed the trauma and may be triggered by something but not know that what they’re experiencing is a traumatic trigger.
Feeling simply upset, which is still valid, is different than a trauma response.
It turns out, there are many ways to ease the blow of trauma, according to the survivors and experts spoke with.
One of the most important things you can do for survivors is let them know that it's okay to be having a hard time and to need to take the space to heal, according to Alicia Raimundo, an online mental health counselor.
According to Elicia Miller, Founder of Core Emotional Healing, it’s important to distinguish the difference between having a traumatic trigger and feeling upset.
An emotional trigger means that something or someone has reminded a survivor of trauma from their past that is unresolved.