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  • Amirah Ahmad Shah

What Trauma Looks Like


The effects of Trauma are sometimes more obvious that you think. The wheel shows us what trauma can actually LOOK like. If you happen to identify any of these behaviours in someone you care about, or in yourself, take a trip down memory lane and try this Reflection Exercise:


1) When it started.
2) What was happening around the time it started.
3) Recognise the trauma and the struggles one went through.
4) Reflect on what the behaviour served you/the person at that time.
5) Show that person (the past self) some compassion, some love, some forgiveness.
6) Return your reflection to the present.
7) How does the behaviour serve you/the person now?
8) Is there harm caused to the self or others? If so, what are they?
9) Decide on whether to continue or contemplate a change.

This is a 9 step-by-step thought process key towards self-awareness, acceptance, and change. Writing the answers down somewhere can represent commitment to reflection and change, and also serves as a reference when we lose motivation and get sidetracked.


This exercise can be done collaboratively with a professional. Your therapist will be able to gently guide you through the thought process, as it can sometimes be rather daunting to face alone. However, if you are able to do this exercise independently, the following stage would require commitment, strategy, and support for change- so think about the right people to surround yourself with, and perhaps seek out for a therapist who can meet your needs.


Source of image: unknown.


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