Can you have a trauma-free MN divorce?Apr 19, 2023
Last week on the podcast, I was joined by Clinical Psychotherapist Laurel Sole. She specializes in dealing with the cycle of trauma and handling it in the moment. This can be incredibly useful when going through your MN divorce. Laurel provides excellent tips on looking at a challenging circumstance as having unlimited potential and focusing on the opportunities coming your way vs. the “problem.”
Laurel talks about how all endings are traumatizing, to a degree. Even if a divorce is something that a person is seeking, there will still be an element of grief that comes up. Not only is it the end of a marriage, but it’s also an ending to relationships (nieces, nephews, in-laws, etc.) and experiences; it’s also the division of assets. This sense of loss is typically followed by the need to grieve. It’s important to remember that navigating grief is not linear. Although there are steps of grief, you don’t work through one step and then move to the next towards a finish line; you can return to the various stages more than once. Experiencing grief is normal, and there are healthy ways to work through it.
The healing takes place by identifying our reactions to trauma and then learning how to handle our reactions. To work through trauma, we have to look at neurobiology and the attachment we have to the trauma. We need to look at how we manage our energy and regulate that energy through our nervous system. If we don’t learn how to work through our reactions, the next time trauma comes up, our brain will take us right back to the pain we experienced.
When you are in a circumstance that brings up trauma, here is a way to start working through it in that moment:
- Uncross everything on your body.
- Feel your feet on the ground and put a little pressure on them.
- Inhale for a count of four.
- Exhale for a count of six.
This breathing style allows our parasympathetic brain to come into play, which shifts our body to rest and digest. When we sense a threat, our body goes into fight or flight, our breath increases, and it’s difficult to see the situation clearly. However, if you allow yourself these deep breaths, your nervous system can calm down, and you can take a step back and evaluate the situation's truth. Try this strategy out next time you feel a sense of panic, anxiety, or trauma.
If you want to learn more about healing through the trauma of divorce, visit Laurel’s Divorce Healing Circle Facebook Group, where she does weekly free training to give her community tips and tools for working through trauma. I am here to help navigate divorce through mediation, so if you are looking for support, please contact me at lesakoski.com.
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