Trauma can leave a patient with a deep sense of unworthiness. On top of that, your client might even blame themselves for feeling this way.
But as we know, there’s always a purpose behind a patient’s response to trauma. And sometimes, the challenge is getting your patient to see the wisdom behind their response – especially when that response is fueling shame and self-blame.
In the video below, Janina Fisher, PhD shares a trauma-informed way of framing a patient’s sense of unworthiness.
She’ll also walk you through specific language you can use with clients who insist on their unworthiness after trauma.
Take a look.
I should say sometimes, clients will say, “You think this is surviving? I got to live so I could be tortured by shame for the rest of my life?” And I say, “Well, that’s why we’re here – so that you can say, ‘I’ve survived and I’m not tortured by shame.’”
For a more in-depth look at how to work with the collapse/submit response, check out the Advanced Master Program on the Treatment of Trauma.
In this 5-part program the experts go beyond the fight-flight-freeze model and look at several emerging defense responses to trauma – including please & appease (also known as fawn), attach/cry-for-help, and collapse/submit.
Now we’d like to hear from you. How do you work with patients who are stuck in the collapse/submit response? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.
If you found this helpful, here are a few more resources you might be interested in: