5 reasons why it's dangerous not to go to therapy after something traumatic happens, according to Jill Spivack:
1. Repressed feelings often erupt years later. If victims aren't allowed to cry or process strong emotions when they've been traumatized and do not have an empathetic person to listen to their feelings, they learn to repress them. Repressing feelings doesn't mean they go away. You simply can't get rid of naturally strong reactions to victimization by "putting them out of your mind" or "staying positive."
2. If a trauma is left unresolved, the survivor may have difficulty parenting their own children effectively in the future. I work with parents all the time who haven't processed their painful experiences from childhood and who are now projecting their feelings and fears onto their children at a time that they should try to cater to their needs.
3. Elizabeth (or other victims who haven't processed a trauma) may have difficulty with daily living. There are daily events that could easily trigger her past negative experiences. If she isn't able to process her emotions around what happened in the past, she may be strongly affected in many areas of her life and feel overwhelmed and debilitated.
4. Potential substance abuse. Many people who have repressed their experiences and feelings around them can't move on and are more likely to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. They may turn to a substance to escape their difficult or painful emotions.
5. Potential physical ailments. Stomach aches, panic attacks, lethargy, and memory problems often erupt when deep psychological wounds aren't addressed. The body knows that they're buried deep inside and the evidence comes out in physical manifestations of the emotional stress.
|Jill Spivack, author of "the Sleepeasy Solution" and co-founder of Sleepy Planet Inc., is a psychotherapist and mother of 2.To buy a copy of her book, click here.|
Do you think Elizabeth Smart needs therapy?