But partners need to “be clear that it is not your problem to fix and you don’t have the power to change another human being,” says Lisa Ferentz, LCSW in a post for partners of trauma survivors.
Rather, know that both of you deserve to connect with resources to help you find comfort and healing.
Trauma survivors and their partners have different needs for support.
Many times, trauma survivors re-live childhood experiences with an unresponsive or abusive partner (an important topic for another article).
This often happens without the ability to see the reasons why they feel compelled to pursue unhealthy relationships.
Progress often comes more readily through a combination of individual sessions and work as a couple.
Trauma-informed therapy helps partners give each other the gift of what I and other therapists call psychoeducation – learning to understand each individual’s story, how it impacts their relationship, and how to process thoughts and emotions in healthier ways.
How do you calm things down when overwhelming emotions get triggered?
It takes therapy for couples to find answers that are most healing for them.
Trauma-informed therapy works by helping couples begin to see how they experienced traumatic abuse or neglect, and how it still affects them, and impacts their current relationships.
This approach enables the therapist to provide specific insights to help couples separate past issues from present ones.
It is important to recognize unhealed trauma as a dynamic force in an intimate relationship.