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  • Ron Welsch

Trauma Doesn’t Have to be the Target

Updated: Aug 30

Rather than addressing the trauma of their lives, clients can learn about unhealthy communication patterns.

Sometimes, relational problems can be resolved and a healthier relational set of skills put in place without exploring trauma. It can be enough to acknowledge ‘something happened to me’, and then answer the question “What do I want to do now that will help us have a better future?”

With good resources– and support and encouragement from a therapist– it can be possible to resolve conflict without making the deep dive into all of life’s traumas.

A common story is that someone– a partner, parent or child – thinks or believes that others should know what they are thinking or need. ‘Mind reading’ is a recognized thought distortion, in which we think we know what the other means, or why they did something, or that they should know what we think. ESP is rare, and mind reading is generally known to be a gimmick. So, practically speaking, the odds of me knowing what you are thinking are very, very low. Expecting your partner to be the rare one that miraculously does read your mind is merely you using distorted thinking. When you vocalize expectations around mind reading, it enters the realm of verbally abusive language, such as “You should’ve known...” which faults and shames the receiver.

Rather than addressing the trauma of their lives, clients can learn about unhealthy communication patterns– such as found in a verbally abusive relationship– and the practice of nonviolent communication. They might employ the winning strategies from Terry Real’s “New Rules of Marriage”. With good resources– and support and encouragement from a therapist– it can be possible to resolve conflict without making the deep dive into all of life’s traumas.



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