“A lot of times,” Cohen says, “we’re redefining for patients what trauma actually is.” So, once you understand what kind of trauma you’re dealing with, you can begin taking steps to heal.
One common and proven method for working through trauma is EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It’s a method of rewiring the brain’s trauma response through visual techniques, and over time, the brain learns to react to triggers appropriately instead of reliving the same emotional or somatic response they’ve always had.
As far as lifestyle choices people can make when healing, Cohen stressed the importance of community. “In grief, say, losing a spouse, for example, meeting other people who have been through it and have risen and have continued live past that trauma is really helpful,” she says. “Group therapy can also be really helpful, you know, just having that sense of community.”
And, of course, self-care is an important factor in anyone’s healing journey. “Adding self-care into their routine, and taking care of themselves—it’s not selfish,” Cohen says. “You have to put yourself first.”