The question asked in the title is a challenge to answer. Every trauma survivor is different and their experiences may have similarities but just as many unique factors. Therefore, it’s not wise to make blanket statements about individual recovery. Trauma can impose long periods of suffering. As much as a quick fix sounds ideal, it doesn’t work that way.
In a more general and optimistic way, the news is good. Trauma therapy has evolved and improved dramatically. Hence, healing tends to happen much quicker now than it did just a few decades ago. Let’s explore some of the factors that can affect the healing process.
Firstly, What Does It Mean to Heal?
Again, this can vary widely from person to person — but universal trends exist. When in the throes of something like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a person may feel alone, helpless, and hopeless. Therefore, simply feeling safe can be one’s definition of “healing.” As for what feels safe, it could include:
- Being able to live in the present moment
- Not getting overwhelmed by memories
- Trusting others enough to open up to them
In other words, the goals you and your therapist set will play a major role in this process. They can influence how it takes for recovery to manifest. For example, if your goals center on basic daily functionality, things may feel like they’re moving quickly.
You also have every right to aim for deep systemic healing and elimination of symptoms. Such a goal could take a little more time to attain. These are the type of profound topics that will be tackled in your weekly sessions.
Do You Feel “Stuck”?
Trauma can leave you in a chronic state of hyper-vigilance. You’re stuck in survival mode. In cases like this, you make experience healing once you start to feel unstuck. There are many approaches that can facilitate this feeling.
What Kind of Trauma Did You Endure?
Trauma is in the eye of the beholder. The same exact situation could traumatize one person while having far less impact on another. So many factors are involved. Then, of course, it also matters:
- At what age did the trauma occur?
- Was it ongoing for a long period of time?
- Did you endure a single horrific event?
- Was the event something that happened to you or something you witnessed?
Once you get started on the healing process, a lot of the above factors will rise to the surface. This can be uncomfortable at first but it empowers you to start seeing that light at the end of the tunnel.
Phases of Trauma Recovery
The safety you seek could start to return in glimpses once treatment commences. This will induce some stabilization in your life. Depending on the specifics of the trauma and your treatment goals, the timetable will vary.
The more stable and safe you feel, the better you become at naming your emotions. Remembrance is not the same as re-live. This is a giant step toward finding the meaning you need to complete the process while mourning what you’ve lost.
Who are you now that you’re on the road to recovery? The trauma is a chapter of your life but not the entire story. Not even close. You no longer have to identify as a victim. It’s not about erasing the past but rather, integrating it into the present of yourself.
Learn More About Trauma Recovery
As an experienced, trauma-informed therapist, I’m careful to not discuss timelines until I know more about you. To learn more about healing from what you’ve experienced, I invite you to reach out. Let’s connect for a confidential consultation for trauma therapy.