Trauma: How My Trauma Story Informs My Work

Would you know if you were having a stress response or negative emotional reaction to a trauma in your life? Would you know what a trauma response looks like? Most people would struggle to identify the emotional and psychological effects of trauma on the human mind and body. It isn’t easy to identify unless you have experienced yourself.

In fact, I experienced a trauma response for years following a severe fall that my mom experienced 5 years ago. I am still psychologically “healing” from the trauma of this fall.

This article will introduce you to the 5 stages of grief and one of my own trauma stories.

Sometimes trying to cope with grief, loss, and trauma can feel like a brush with death. It can feel as if you are facing a scary and uncertain task every single day. Healing can feel very far away.

The 5 stages of grief is often a theory discussed in group therapy or support groups focused on healing from a loss. I remember working in a local teaching university (which was also attached to a prominent hospital) and working alongside a therapist who studied grief and loss. She was interested in research focused on explaining the emotional, psychological, and physiological effects of loss and grief. She taught me a few techniques that I still use today and introduced me to the 5 stages of grief.

5 stages of grief

Although I had learned about the 5 stages of grief in many of my college classes, I hadn’t really explored the topic. For me, at the time, it was “just a theory.” And for some people, that’s exactly what it is. It has no influence on their lives.

But I will sometimes use this theory to help my grieving clients conceptualize the stages they may go through. The healing process is complicated.

The 5 stages of grief include:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Depression
  4. Bargaining
  5. Acceptance

I explain each stage in a bit more depth on the audio recording below and use this experience as an opportunity to share one of my own trauma experiences with you.

Feel free to share your own story