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  • Writer's pictureTammi Imel MA, LMHC

Woman to Woman: Healing Trauma in Counseling

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

Family of origin trauma? Relational trauma? Losing your identity in a relationship with a significant other? Hurt people, hurt people. If that person being hurt was you growing up, I extend warmth and healing and hope to you. Working through chronic trauma in counseling now can prevent legacy trauma.

Our first experiences with trust, agency, coping, behavioral expectations and emotional space is in our first home: our family of origin. Being raised by detached, rejecting, neglecting, hypocritical, self-absorbed, abusive or emotionally dependent persons shapes who we become. And whether we escape the pain quietly and gently, or kicking and screaming, it is likely to be repeated in our relationships with romantic partners, friends or maybe even co-workers.

Relationship patterns are formed by experiences with our family of origin: we may learn excellent coping skills by loving family, or learn that our value lies only in how we can serve others. Some learn that they need to be quiet and invisible and accepting of trauma in the home, with extended family, or in church (freezing or fawning). Others may learn that fighting back is expected but does not lead to positive change -- so they fight and fight until fighting is all they know. Still others learn that fleeing helps, and escape by dissociating and numbing out--or disappearing into their day dreams, media, sex, or substances. If not addressed and worked through, in mid-life, chronic trauma may lead to various autoimmune disease or other chronic health issues.

Woman to woman, I encourage you onto and into your healing journey. You are worth being healthy and whole, and the joy and peace that is waiting to emerge when it's safe.

Tammi Imel, MA, LMHC

Owner, Lighted Pathways Therapy & Consulting, LLC


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