Trauma takes many forms, and has different levels of impact on our mental health for each of us.
In addition to professional counseling, there are many resources for self-healing.
See quotes by and about many artists who have experienced rape, physical abuse and other traumatic and emotionally challenging experiences, and use creative expression to help deal with them – including Alice Sebold, Allison Anders, SARK, Halle Berry, Lady Gaga, will.i.am, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonathan Safran Foer and many others, in my article “Creative People, Trauma and Mental Health.”
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In this excerpt from his article Ten Ways to Be Your Own Therapist (on his website, which has many other articles and publications), psychotherapist Daniel Mackler speaks about nurturing our ability to know and take care of ourselves by journaling:
“Journaling – that is, writing down the truth of your feelings, your point of view, your fears, your angers, your hopes, your expectations, your desires, your fantasies, your hatreds, your regrets, your thoughts, your memories, your prejudices, your secret loves, your painful experiences, your humiliations, your past traumas – requires massive intimacy with yourself.
“This self-intimacy is the essence of good therapy, and yet is also what makes good therapy so difficult. Many people find it difficult to journal – or journal in a deep and prolonged way – because of the strange feelings of being so emotionally intimate with oneself.
“But if you can tolerate the potential discomfort, if you can sit with the truth of who you are and look at your truth expressed on the page in front of you, then you can nurture a wonderful relationship with your greatest ally: your own true self!”
Mackler recommends other actions we can take:
ANALYZE YOUR DREAMS
ENGAGE IN INNER DIALOGUE
LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Mackler is a filmmaker, musician and psychotherapist in New York City. His writings focus on the causes, consequences, and radical significance of childhood trauma.
Mackler is co-editor of the book, Beyond Medication: Therapeutic Engagement and the Recovery from Psychosis
and author of multiple books including Breaking from Your Parents.
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The image at the top is from the book Healing from Trauma: A Survivor’s Guide to Understanding Your Symptoms and Reclaiming Your Life by Jasmin Lee Cori, MS, LPC.
See many more books, programs and other material on the page Emotional Health Resources.