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Many survivors of violence and abuse experience extreme fears stemming from past abuse, which can lead to what’s known as catastrophic thinking, defined as obsessively ruminating over worst-case outcomes.
The first step to combatting that, according to Dr.
Be careful about asking too many questions, or trying to give hugs, or touches, which could cause the survivor to feel afraid and be counter-productive, according to Dr.
Doug Miller, Ph D, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Forensic Trauma Expert. Nearly every single survivor who talked with Teen Vogue expressed feeling alone, trapped, or isolated, which are typical responses to abuse, according to Dr. Ben, a 26-year-old survivor of parental abuse says the people who have been most helpful to them are the ones who “truly listen with the intent to hear and center you and your experience rather than trying to wall themselves off from it by throwing out platitudes or trying to find what you must have done or what it is about you that ‘made’ this happen to you.”Others, like Samantha, who is 18 and whose best friend is a survivor of emotional and sexual abuse, explained that listening to a survivor is key.
Stefani Goerlich, LCSW, a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, says that one of her favorite techniques to combat trauma responses is called the 5-4-3-2-1.
The exercise entails looking for five things you can see in the area around you, things as simple as ‘I see a leaf on the ground.’ Then, you identify four things you can touch, listen for three things you can hear in the outside world, two things you can smell, and one positive affirmation for yourself.
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.
“It's not about you, it's about them, and loving them, supporting them in creating the relationships and experiences they want and need and deserve.”How often you should check in with the person will vary, according to Dr. However, it becomes easier to know when you might want to check in if you pay close attention to their emotional responses.
When it comes to being a loving partner or friend, Goerlich says it’s often best to “follow the survivor’s lead,” because someone who has survived a trauma has had their sense of control stripped from them.
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.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating