September 5, 2023


I would be remiss not to post the dangers of rushing to resolve your past traumas/life events. This is especially true for severe traumatic events like abuse or war. I always stress the importance of finding an experienced therapist and this topic is one of the main reasons. To take on years of past trauma too soon can cause you to implode or add more stress to your, already, stressful lives.

What do I mean by implode? I mean you will resort back to “Unhealthy Grounds” (e.g., drugs, alcohol, violence, self-abuse, etc.) to feel safe in an unsafe environment. These unhealthy grounds have been your comfort zone while actively using or feeling painful trauma symptoms, and you will easily go back to them without a strong healthier ground in place.

A healthy ground is a person, place, or thing that gives you comfort when stressed out. Some examples would be exercise, writing, music, meditation, and any other healthy activity you can utilize to get grounded when anxious or emotionally reactive to daily stressors. This is what we teach at our addiction facilities. There are no quick fixes to resolving past trauma, and there are no magical rehabs that can achieve it in 30 days. You must first learn healthier coping skills before engaging in trauma work.

I have trained therapists and educated clients on the “Time and Timing” of treatment and interventions. You all determine the time you need to safely deal with past painful issues. This goes at the client’s pace, not the therapists. The therapist must know the timing of their interventions. Too soon, and it can cause more harm. Too late, and you can miss a significant clinical window in the therapeutic process. This is why I also teach clients to search for a trauma therapist that has the extensive experience in the field.

For those not seeing a therapist, I ask you that you first work on securing a “Healthy Ground” when upset about daily stressors or events. Learn how to ground yourself with present issues first. Re-train your “Mind, Body and Spirit” with healthier ways to handle stressors in the present. Then, and only then, are you ready to start delving into your pasts.

For those people suffering from addictions and entering rehab facilities, first work on grounding. Do not try to detox off drugs and resolve trauma all in one. It does not work like that. In my rehab trauma classes I stress the importance of not rushing something so sensitive. I tell my clients, if you think you have done the work, think again, if you did, you would not be back in rehab. It may mean you rushed it and it added to the outcome of relapsing. First, establish sobriety, then start to take on the task of resolving past traumas/life events. The journey to find peace is not a race, it is a lifetime goal.

I have been posting for a couple of years on my FB Resolutions Healthcare group and have listed several exercises (i.e., Timelines, Resolved/Unresolved Chart, Healthy and Unhealthy Things in Your Life) for you to try. I have posted about the importance of finding “Healthy Grounds.” These tools are all necessary for you to stabilize your emotional reactivity in the present.

If you have decided that you are not ready yet, that is okay. Keep educating yourself on ways to improve your life. But if you think you are ready to process past traumas and you have not done the work I have already suggested, I think you should stop and consider this post. Maybe you are rushing too fast.

Remember, if your past events happened years ago, do not expect to resolve them in one, two, three days, months and even years. It is a process. But not doing it just adds more days, months, and years to your struggle.

Mind, Body, Spirit…Balance!

Vinnie Strumolo, CEO, CCO, LMFT