Trauma is intense learning in a short time. Although the statement itself is very short, it takes some time to understand its content. For those who experience it, sexual and violent traumas cause intense emotional arousal in people. In order to have a more detailed perspective on the subject, we should open the topic of learning.
Learning has two dimensions; time and density. If we spread a learning process over a very long period of time, learning does not occur. At the same time, if we set too short a time, learning still doesn’t happen. If we are to learn about any subject, we must set the duration to an average setting on our own terms. For example, if someone who wants to learn a language tries to learn a word in two weeks without any background, this time will be too much for the person. At the same time, if a person takes only three minutes to learn a word, there will not be enough time for learning. We must have sufficient time for learning to take place.
The intensity of the content learned over time is also important. If a language learner learns a word every day, ten years later he will have learned only enough words to speak. At the same time, if the person tries to learn a hundred words every day, this intensity will tire the person and may stop the learning process. Time and density issues affect our ability to learn any information. The important thing is that we can find an average path.
Traumas are the extremes experienced in the learning process. If the person experiences sexual (harassment and rape) and violence (bombs, war or beatings), he or she experiences psychological difficulties due to the excesses that occur in the learning process. If the person is exposed to experience for a very long time under normal conditions, he cannot cope with a subject that he can cope with more easily and with less mental difficulties due to a short time and intense learning. For example, if a soldier is suddenly attacked by a bomb, if he divides the current violence by a hundred and experiences it for a hundred days, it will not be a problem for him. However, the person could not internalize his experience (learning) because he was suddenly exposed to such intense content. This is the reason why traumas lie in the central nervous system. Just as we will not store data on a computer in a very short time, a person’s emotion and cognition system cannot make sense of some experiences instantly. This is the core of our work with trauma-related compulsions in therapy. It is exposing information from the central nervous system to the person experiencing the trauma over and over until the person gets used to it. Images, sounds and smells are experienced many times by the person. Thus, current learning turns from intense to diluted content, from time to time.
As well as the principles of learning, the feelings of justice and guilt are also experienced by the clients. The person repeatedly asks the question ‘why did this happen to me’ and wants to blame someone for what happened. This accusation is sometimes directed at the person himself, sometimes against the person who harms himself, and sometimes against the people who follow this process and do nothing. During all this time without therapy intervention, the person who has experienced a traumatic experience is constantly exposed to disturbing thoughts and feelings, and self-destructs with different answers to the question of who the culprit is. If you or someone you know has had a traumatic experience, you should try to get/offer counseling as early as possible. You will both get rid of disturbing thoughts and be free from guilt/anger feelings.
Childhood traumas are as important as adult traumas. Sexual and violent traumas experienced in childhood affect people’s adult life and reduce their functionality. Violent and sexual content that comes to the mind of the person; visual, auditory and olfactory memories make life difficult. Since childhood traumas also affect the personality pattern, therapy takes longer.
In summary, trauma is a learning problem. We turn this learning process, which is abnormal in time and intensity, into a normal learning process in therapy. We repeatedly bring to light memories trapped in the central nervous system until the client normalizes them. There may be some pains and difficulties in the process itself, but when the person is purified from the unwanted feelings and thoughts that arise during the counseling process, he or she is relieved almost as if they have not experienced the traumatic experience. Thus, the client normalizes his experience and continues his life in a calm mood.
A calm mood is always possible. Let’s not forget, every journey starts with the first step.