Research-based Recovery Information*
for Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse and Adversity


               -- MAKE THE MOST OF THEM !

People with a history of childhood trauma often have difficulties with "emotion regulation" -- feelings and emotions of greater strength than those commonly experienced by other people. This can cause both temporary emotional distress and discomfort but, depending on one's reactions to these emotional times, can lead to ways of coping with these feelings that go on to cause other problems for them, such as substance abuse or even substance dependence (Scott et al, 2012 -- [LINK]) (pdf file).

Sometimes we may feel, because of the emotional and psychological abuse we have suffered, that we do't deserve to be treated with respect.

But remember:

"What I am is good enough if I would only be it openly."
Carl Rogers

Sometimes we feel so aggrieved by others treatment that we take it as a further, unwarranted and highly personal, attack, and "lash out" in unreasoning anger, in a "need to defend ourselves" (see the video below by Ron Potter-Efron)-- sometimes out of all proportion with the intent or degree of perceived (by ourselves at least) attack by others.

Sometimes we may feel so afraid that we will lose someone, and never again be "lucky" enough to have anyone else, that we swallow our anger at how we are treated by those we love, and who might not love us, that we act "dumb", refusing to hear the other's dissatisfaction with something happening in our relationship, that we ignore (fail to accept) our, and their, feelings. (See the videos, especially that of David Schnarch, listed on this page -- [LINK])

All of these are instances of problems with emotion, and self, regulation. Professor Kim Gratz and her colleagues at the University of Mississippi Medical Center have extensively rsearched this topic and developed the Disorders of Emotion Regulation Scale (complete the scale here -- [LINK] -- let me know, I'll score it for you and send you the results.

Professor Gratz has also written about an important element in learning to better manage or regulate one's emotions -- [LINK] (pdf article) -- and conjointly developed this skills training manual -- [LINK].

Emotion Regulation, however, is not the only mechanism proposed as the basis of mindfulness -- see this introduction by Professor Ruth Baer [LINK] (.doc file) -- nor is it the only approach to managing strong emotions. Below are listed some access details for some other approaches, including some videos for the guidance of therapists.

Remember, feeling strongly about things means you may be vulnerable to suffering strong reactions when reminded of things that hurt you i the past. But you are also likely to value things highly and you may also have a clear idea of what's important to you, and you will be energized to work hard towards achieving what's important to you -- more than other people who have not been hurt might be. However, remember the bottom line:

Is what I'm trying to do workable? right here? right now?

You may wish to review the principles underlying Acceptance and Commitment Therapy -- [LINK] perhaps as expressed simply via "The Matrix" videos?

You may also, if experiencing an emotional crisis, wish to review these suggestions -- [LINK] (pdf article).


ACCEPTANCE, and ACTION -- complete the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire here to see how you're doing, let me know, and I'll get back to you with the results -- [LINK]

If you do not wish to contact a therapist, confidential peer support is available through the Act-for-the-Public discussion list: -- [LINK]


These materials were obtained as free downloads from Psychotherapy Networker -- [LINK]
-- a most valuable resource for counsellors and therapists.

These videos discuss important elements in helping victims of trauma who often have difficulty identifying their own emotions, and in regulating their emotions in socially adequate and aware ways. Please note: these are in MP4 format, of approximately an hour's duration, and approximately 300Mb in size, so bandwidth considerationa are important. ALSO -- these are provided as "professional-to-professional" communicatioms, and must be properly cited (back to Psychotherapy Networker as the producer -- [LINK]), and should not be re-produced without proper permission.

To view the videos, click on the presenter photo or the video description. -- this should bring up the file's location in my SkyDrive cloud store, and application window should "pop up" prompting you to choose whether to play, or download, the file -- whatever is set up as the default on your system. Please wait, loading will take a while due to the length of the video and your particular download speed.

Remember, these videos are primarily for the guidance of therapists. You might gain insight into your personal issues by reviewing the video(s) but if having difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact a mental health professional.

Check your download speed by visiting this site: -- [LINK]