I too am a survivor. Between the ages of 5-10 I was sexually abused by a teenager in my neighborhood. During elementary and middle school, I was the victim of constant bullying at the hands of other students, and various form of narcissistic abuse at the hands of teachers and other adults in my life.
I decided that as my only defense mechanism and means to cope, would be to suppress those memories to the bottom of the closet in my mind and pretend they didn’t matter, or exist at all.
That’s how I survived for the following 20+ years. It wasn’t until my early 40’s that I began to seek help and put the pieces together of that troubled past. I could easily look back and wish that I had started my survivor journey earlier…but I also realize I wasn’t ready then, or capable of dealing with it.
We all heal in our own way, and I believe that trauma healing is an ongoing process. However, it doesn’t mean that we have to live as victims, stuck in the past, and seemingly feeling hopeless forever.
Coaching is about finding out where you are right now, and discovering where you want to go.
Then we put a plan in place, with the understanding of how past trauma affects you today, and work towards your goals, one step at a time.
Childhood Sexual Abuse
You might be asking..
is it important that a Trauma Recovery Coach be Trauma Informed? The short and simple answer is YES! After all, you are going to be working with survivors of trauma, you better know what that means. It goes much deeper than traditional Life Coaching training, because survivors have unique struggles and mindsets that come from being traumatized. So understanding those struggles and how they relate to your every day life now, is essential.
It’s important to remember that Coaching is not Therapy. A Coach cannot diagnose or treat a Mental Illness or Disorder, nor can we prescribe medications. We can however, work with you at your present stage of life and understand how past events and circumstances still affect you today. That type of awareness is key to recovery from trauma, and opens up a whole new world of awareness and healing. It’s also key to helping you move forward in life with your goals and dreams, because taking into account a history of trauma, we can work together in a compassionate and supportive way.
Another way that a Trauma Informed Coach can help is with the use specific techniques similarly used in by Psychologists and other Mental Health professionals, provided he or she has gone through the proper training. Some of these include:
- Aspects of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).
- Aspects Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
- Neuro Linguistic Programming
- Voice Dialogue.
- Self Exploration.
- and more!
Each person is different and not everything is effective for everybody, so it’s important to ask your Coach what his or her qualifications are when you come to them for Trauma Recovery Coaching. It’s also important to be open and honest at all times; communication is vital for a successful relationship. If something isn’t working or you have questions, don’t be afraid to speak up.
As a Coach, I’m here to help you develop strategies and use an action-oriented plan so you can achieve your goals in life. You might think, “well what do goals have to do with Trauma Recovery, aren’t those for other types of situations in life”?
Everyone has goals; things in life that they want to accomplish. For some that might be getting a new job, making healthier choices, or finding out their true calling . For survivors, goals are also very important. And hey, just because you’re a survivor doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to go after the same types of goals of those who aren’t survivors right?
After all, haven’t you been through enough in your life? Aren’t you tired of waking up each day and dreading what’s ahead? Wouldn’t it feel nice to have confidence in yourself, knowing you have the ability to handle whatever comes your way?
Sure you do, we all do! That’s where goals come in. We’ll work together to figure out exactly where you are in life, what feelings and thoughts are holding you back, and put together a plan of action that helps you reach for whatever you want in life.
Whether that’s simply to wake up and feel better about yourself each day, or to further understand how trauma affects you; we’ll break it down in a safe atmosphere that is always all about you! I can help you make sense of it all and get off the Trauma Trail and onto the Road to Recovery and Feeling Better.
Oh, in case you were wondering, yes I am a survivor. As a child I lived through Sexual Abuse, Narcissistic Abuse, and Bullying. I’ve made it from Victim, to Survivor, to Thriver, and I can help you get there too!
Matt Pappas is a committed advocate for survivors of trauma. He has gained a depth of insight and understanding as a result of his own journey of healing, and brings this to everything he does to support others in their own healing.
Matt is such a pleasure to interact and work with. As an advocate and survivor thriver Matt, truly walks his talk and shares from the heart, his commitment to his work, and empowering fellow survivors with the information, support and encouragement is transparent in all that he does. Wether it is an email correspondence, phone call or online interview Matt treats all with kindness, respect and compassion. Thank you Matt for your courage and commitment. I feel privileged to know you. You make the world a better place.
There is a rhythm that gets created when trauma survivors speak with one another. Words that often seem too frightening to say out loud reveal themselves effortlessly as stories are shared and honored. This was my experience with Matt on his podcast.
He asks the questions that truly matter and resonate with so many people creating a platform of safety. He is doing the kind of work I have come to rely on. Thank You, Matt!
How Do I Get Started?
It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and commitment on your part and on the part of your coach. You and I will be a team, navigating this survivor journey as you strive towards your goals with the desire of never going back to where you’ve been. Onward towards the real, authentic you!
How bad do you want to make that change? How tired are you of constantly looking back and saying, “what if”. Your time is now, and you are the one that can make it happen…Go for it and take that first step.
You never know what incredible power you already have inside you to heal, and it’s just waiting to be unlocked.