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What is Trauma? How to Move Forward

What is Trauma? How to Move Forward, by Matthew Montano

Trauma much like everything else, including things that say “one size fits all” is not a one size fits all. Traumatic experiences come in many different shapes and sizes and for many different reasons.  When most people think of trauma, they think of a war zone or a trauma unit in a hospital. While those examples are true and valid, trauma can also include getting straight a’s, getting fired from a job, a bad breakup, hearing the phrase “I’m disappointed in you” or something as simple as an unpleasant look from a loved one.

To simplify: trauma is how you define it.

Healing from Trauma

Once we identify our trauma, we must begin working on our own healing. With it being so personal, one thing that we shouldn’t do is compare our trauma to others. Rather, we should empathize with others when their traumatic experiences are shared with us. This can be something as simple as just sitting with them and listening while they share their story. Believe it or not, this can be a very positive and bonding experience both for you and the one sharing their trauma.

Two people embracing while looking at an ocean sunset

Adopting a Positive Outlook

When we think of a traumatic experience, the last thing we think about is how it can be viewed positively. While this idea may seem farfetched, it can be more realistic than we think! With a positive outlook on our individual traumatic experiences, we begin to recognize just how strong we truly are because we are living past our trauma. We no longer define ourselves by our traumatic experiences, rather by how we overcame them! Realizing that we are so much more than a traumatic experience, we become empowered to not only share our experiences with others but to realize that no matter what happens, we truly are never alone.

Matthew Montano, CFLE, LMFT

Matthew Montano • Utah Family Therapy Mental Health Clinic | Trauma | Anxiety | Intensive Outpatient Program

Matthew understands how important it is for clients to be in charge of their own process towards healing, love, and empowerment. His passion for therapy began early on in his life when he worked through his own trauma at a young age. Matthew now works side-by-side with clients throughout the healing process, in their timeframe. 

If you or anyone you know is facing mental health challenges and needs support, we can help you.

You can share how you’re feeling or about your experience, or apply to our subsidized therapy program.

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