The following is a summary of some the various stages of healing proposed by leading experts in the field of trauma therapy. Please keep in mind that these stages do not necessarily occur in a linear sequence and that as the healing process proceeds, certain stages may be revisited from an increasingly integrated perspective.
Safety and Stabilization: Establishing a sense of safety is paramount in the healing process. This often involves creating a safe environment, both externally and internally, where the individual feels secure and grounded.
Being witnessed: A crucial component in healing from trauma is that of being seen, heard, acknowledged, and believed. In this way, traumatic events that have been frozen in time, and shrouded in secrecy, are brought to light, paving the way for deeper level healing.
Remembering and Mourning: This stage involves processing and acknowledging the traumatic experiences that have occurred. It may involve remembering and expressing emotions related to the trauma, allowing for a sense of mourning and acceptance.
Reconnection: Reconnecting with oneself and others is crucial in the healing journey. This stage may involve rebuilding relationships, establishing trust, and reconnecting with one’s sense of self and purpose.
Integration: Integration involves incorporating the traumatic experiences into one’s overall life story in a way that allows for growth and healing. This may involve finding meaning and purpose in the aftermath of trauma and integrating the experience into a broader understanding of oneself and the world.
Embodiment: This stage emphasizes the importance of reconnecting with the body and addressing the physical manifestations of trauma. Techniques such as yoga, mindfulness, and somatic experiencing may be used to help individuals reconnect with their bodies and alleviate physical symptoms related to trauma.