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prolonged exposure therapy...

Posted by missophelia , 19 March 2014 · 193 views

Dr K and I are discussing, with some seriousness, me starting this form of trauma therapy.
She is being encouraging.
She wants me to do less avoiding of dealing with the trauma. 
Which has affected all areas of my life.
I do agree with her, I need to deal with it.  I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being ruled by the trauma, or at least feeling like I am being ruled by it.
I want to live, fully, wholly, with some sense of inner peace.
And I think she knows that it will be hard.  But still, there seems to be a part of her, maybe just a small part, that acts like it’s no big deal?
I don’t think that anyone who hasn’t lived through trauma can totally relate.  If you have never been raped, or assaulted, there is just no way that you can possibly know what it’s like, what it FEELS like, to have lived through that.
I hate that I do know what it feels like. 
I see her again next week, and we will discuss it again.  I’m pretty sure I understand PET, and what it entails.
I am just a little scared.
Scared for what it will bring up.  The last time we did trauma processing, I started on a downward spiral of depression.  It just brought up so much from the rapes. 
I almost feel like I won’t survive the therapy.  Which is insane.  Because, I survived being raped.  I have survived this long.  Surely I must be strong enough to survive trauma therapy.
I don't know.
I do believe that in order to heal, in order to find inner peace, that I have to work on me from the inside out. 
And I think that trauma processing in any form qualifies as working on me from the inside out.

Mar 19 2014 07:02 PM

That sounds really hard and scary. I think as long as you take it slow, and regroup when things get tough, that it should be possible. I know how hard it is. I know how terrifying it can be. Will you be (or have you been) working on coping and grounding skills? When I look back over my therapy I can see a definite pattern of approaching some component of the trauma, getting into it, and if or when it got to be too much, we took time to stop, regroup, and stabilize. Then back to approaching again. I can say without a doubt that there has been growth every time, but of course I never see it when in the middle of the storm. 


I'm not sure if this is how the PET will work but just wanted to check you've talked about a safety plan (coping skills etc.) as well as a plan you both agree to for what will be done  should you spiral down again into depression. 

Mar 19 2014 07:52 PM



That sounds like a good idea, regrouping.  I will bring that up with Dr K. 


I have been working on coping and grounding skills.  But maybe we need to discuss that, too, when I see her next time.  


I think a safety plan, or reviewing the one I have from when I was in the hospital, is also a good idea. 


Thanks for all the suggestions, and ideas.    It really does help. 

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