Moving Forward: How Do I Heal from Childhood Trauma?

Very few people get through life without some level of trauma, whether it’s big, more commonly recognized trauma or smaller, personal experiences that were traumatic (and yes, those count). 

Perhaps you’re at a point where you feel ready for therapy, actively searching for a reputable trauma therapist near me in Simi Valley, or maybe you’re just dipping your toes into your healing journey. Whatever the case may be, the question of how to “move on” from childhood trauma is a big one, and one that gets asked frequently. Fortunately, healing is possible. 

As experienced trauma therapists at Simi Psychological Group, we understand the fears and frustrations that often accompany the healing process. Here, we share strategies to begin healing from childhood trauma, and activities that support the process.

Understanding Childhood Trauma:

Before delving into strategies for moving on from childhood trauma, it’s crucial to understand its impact. Childhood trauma can manifest in various forms, including physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, neglect, domestic violence, natural disasters, war, loss of a loved one, or witnessing traumatic events. These experiences can disrupt normal childhood development and leave lasting psychological effects.

Getting support around these experiences is a crucial part of healing.

For more on types of therapy that help with childhood trauma, check out our blog 5 Ways Therapy Heals Unresolved Childhood Trauma

9 Ways to Heal Childhood Trauma

1. Acknowledge and Validate Feelings: 

An important aspect of healing from childhood trauma is acknowledging and validating your feelings. Take some time to identify, if you can, the emotions you’re experiencing. It might be fear, anger, sadness, guilt, shame, or a combination of these and other emotions. Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling without judgment or criticism. 

At the same time, be gentle with yourself if you’re not sure what you’re feeling, or if you feel numb, which are both very common experiences after trauma as well. Whatever you do notice or can label, honor it. 

a person sitting on a couch talking to a person

It’s essential to recognize that your emotions, even numbness or uncertainty, are valid and understandable responses to the trauma you experienced. 

Ultimately, it’s important to get in touch with your emotions in order to work through the trauma. Suppressing or denying these feelings can hinder the healing process. 

Seek support from trusted friends, family members, or a therapist who can provide a safe space to express your emotions without judgment. 

Simply recognizing and labeling your feelings can be a powerful first step. 

Seek Professional Help:

Therapy can be instrumental in healing from childhood trauma. A qualified therapist can help you explore the impact of past experiences on your current thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. 

They provide guidance in learning coping skills, challenging negative beliefs, and processing traumatic memories to heal the wounds of your past. 

At Simi Psychological Group, we offer trauma therapy in Simi Valley to support you or a loved one on your path to healing. We consider trauma therapy to be a collaborative experience, with you and your therapist working together to ensure your needs are met. 

Our skilled and trained therapists are here to support you using a combination of interpersonal process therapy, family systems, and cognitive-behavioral techniques. While we find these techniques most effective in helping you meet your goals, our therapists tailor each therapeutic process to your individual needs. 

3. Practice Self-Compassion:

Self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness, understanding, and acceptance, especially in times of difficulty. 

Instead of self-criticism or blame, practice self-compassionate statements such as “I am worthy of love and care” or “It’s okay to feel upset.”

Treat yourself as you would a dear friend experiencing similar struggles.

4. Cultivate Supportive Relationships:

a group of people sitting on grass in front of a city skyline

Building a strong support network is crucial for healing from childhood trauma. Surround yourself with individuals who offer empathy, validation, and encouragement. 

These supportive relationships can provide a sense of belonging and safety, helping you feel less alone in your healing journey.

In addition to individual trauma therapy, Simi Psychological Group offers group therapy, which can be a powerful and extraordinarily healing approach. Click here for a list of our current group offerings.

5. Engage in Self-Care Activities:

Contrary to a commonly held belief, self-care is not selfish. In fact, self-care plays a vital role in healing from childhood trauma. 

Self-care is the act of engaging in activities that meet your needs, bring joy, offer peace, or simply feel good. 

These are activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul, such as exercise, meditation, journaling, creative expression, or spending time in nature. Prioritize your well-being and make self-care a regular part of your routine.

6. Set Boundaries:

Setting boundaries is essential for protecting your emotional and mental health. Learn to identify your needs and communicate them assertively to others. Establishing clear boundaries can prevent re-traumatization and empower you to prioritize your own needs and well-being.

You can read more on the power of boundaries in our blog 7 Ways Setting Healthy Boundaries Supports Trauma Recovery.

7. Challenge Negative Beliefs:

a person with her hands together to her mouth

Childhood trauma can often lead to negative beliefs about oneself, others, and the world. If you find that you are your own worst critic, if you’re harder on yourself than others, and if you constantly put yourself down, this could be part of your childhood trauma. 

Challenge these negative thoughts and beliefs by examining the evidence supporting them and seeking alternative perspectives. 

Replace self-limiting beliefs with affirmations that promote self-acceptance, resilience, and growth. Remember that you are worthy and you are enough.

8. Practice Mindfulness:

a person sitting at a desk with his eyes closed and his hands up

Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity, and acceptance. By practicing mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, body scans, or mindfulness meditation, you can cultivate awareness of your thoughts and emotions without judgment. 

Mindfulness can help you regulate your emotions, reduce stress, and increase self-awareness.

9. Celebrate Progress:

Healing from childhood trauma is a gradual process that requires patience, courage, and perseverance. Celebrate your progress, no matter how small it may feel (little wins are actually huge!), and acknowledge the steps you’ve taken towards healing. Remember that healing is not linear, and setbacks are a natural part of the journey. 

Be kind to yourself and trust in your resilience and capacity for growth.

Childhood trauma can have a profound impact on an individual’s life, but it is possible to heal and move forward. By acknowledging your feelings, seeking professional help, practicing self-compassion, cultivating supportive relationships, engaging in self-care activities, setting boundaries, challenging negative beliefs, practicing mindfulness, and celebrating progress, you can overcome the effects of childhood trauma and create a brighter future for yourself. Remember that healing is a journey, and you deserve love, support, and compassion every step of the way.

If you are looking for support near you, Simi Psychological Group offers services in Simi Valley and Moorpark. We are here to meet the needs of you and your family, and, in addition to trauma therapy, we offer family counseling, therapy for depression, anxiety, and more. 

Contact us today for a free consultation at 805-842-1994.