Trauma is something we all experience in life.

Whether it looks like trauma to someone else is unimportant. I find that society likes to create a hierarchy of pain. “Wow, and I thought I was going through a tough time.” Perspective is good, but not when it invalidates what you’re experiencing.

We try to get people to understand our pain, and if they dismiss it or don’t get it, we can feel isolated, alone in our suffering, guilty for feeling pain at all.

Something I learned this year about trauma: it’s stored in the body. That’s why emotions can feel like physical sensations. 

Let me tell you that you’re not alone if you’re feeling pain. While counseling has been a game changer in my life, it’s okay if you aren’t feeling like it’s meant for you at this moment in time. Maybe start by reading these books and see if anything resonates with you.

3 Books for Understanding Trauma

1. Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine

This book changed the way I looked at healing. In the past, I thought emotional healing was strictly for the brain. I didn’t realize the body played such a key role in letting go and moving forward.

Key takeaway for me: Trauma can be overcome by taking a look at the physcial sensations that come up when triggered. It’s not about having the words for an event to explain it conciously. It’s about feeling into the body to see what it needs to release.

2. The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk

Similar to Waking the Tiger, this book is all about how the body holds trauma and how it can affect the wiring of the brain. It talks through various experiences and different healing practices that come up.

Key takeaway for me: Trauma can be passed through generations. Understanding that traumatic stress affects more people than commonly acknoweldged is a way to release the stigma and move to a healing place.

3. How To Do The Work by Dr. Nicole LePera

Nicole was spot on with this book. So many of us are craving a life that we aren’t always just trying to survive. We want to heal and release the burden of stress and past experiences. She talks about her experiences as a counselor and as a person in a way that shows self-awareness and determination on her healing journey.

Key takeaway for me: Everyone has a different path to healing. That path is rarely linear. Learning from someone who has similar experiences is freeing.

These books do an amazing job at challenging traditional counseling in a way that shows the body’s connection to trauma and stress. 

If you decide you’d like to find a therapist, I strongly recommend EMDR therapy. While I’ve tried other forms of counseling, EMDR really connects the body to the mind and helps to let go of that need to overintellectualize things. The body has innate wisdom – let’s use it. 

Please note that these are all recommendations from my experience and that everyone has a different journey to healing. 

Looking for more recommendations?

Here are the podcasts I love.

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