Lesson: Trauma Tools

Melissa Hammock talks about how trauma can make you feel ashamed, as if there’s something wrong with you. She says this shame makes you feel responsible, especially in cases like abortion where a choice was made and explains that healing from trauma is a journey, not a single event, and ignoring trauma doesn’t make it go away. Melissa discusses how our society often doesn’t handle death or grief well, leading us to downplay our experiences and that people might try to make up for their perceived failures by overworking. She emphasizes the importance of being aware of and facing your trauma for true healing, as what we ignore continues to affect us.

Melissa shares in this video how we often avoid facing our most important issues. God wants us to heal, not just survive, and sometimes small memories can help uncover deeper trauma in a safe way. Melissa also explains that experiencing stress after trauma doesn’t always lead to a disorder. She describes healing from trauma as a kind of grieving and ways to heal trauma using the top-down model (or attunement), which involves creating a safe and connected space for sharing difficult experiences. She also talks about a common worry in abortion recovery, where people fear they won’t heal like others do.

Melissa explains the bottom-up approach to dealing with trauma, which includes being adaptively aware and understanding learned helplessness. She also talks about how trauma can change the way you see yourself and the world.

Melissa talks about how our fight or flight response, both physically and emotionally, affects recovery from abortion. She lists typical reactions to stress or survival strategies, like avoiding problems, freezing (being unable to move), fawning (coping without limits to ease the situation), and being overly alert. She explains that even if you don’t remember the trauma, your body still holds onto it, which can lead to sickness and depression.¬† This session has a handout.