Understandably, there are various coping mechanisms for dealing with trauma. In #WhatIs Post-Traumatic Growth?, Miriam Akhtar explores emotion and problem focused mechanisms to be used individually or combined. Your own usage will depend on your own trauma, personality, and physical and mental health.
‘Every trauma has its own unique features, depending on the severity of the event, its duration and the subjective experience of the survivor, but what they have in common is that they are extremely stressful experiences that stretch and overwhelm your ability to cope.
‘Positive coping’ involves the strategies and actions you can take to manage and reduce the stress of these challenging situations. So how do you cope positively when you are being tested to your very limits? Let me say first that there isn’t a ‘right’ way to cope, but there are two major coping responses.
• Emotion-focused coping
• Problem-focused coping
As you read the explanation below, try to identify your own default coping style and notice whether one of the other approaches might have something to offer you.
This coping method involves taking practical steps to move forward and resolve the issue, and can often be most helpful after an initial period of emotion-focused coping. People using problem-focused coping try to deal directly with the cause of adversity to reduce or eliminate the stress involved. How do you cope positively during and after trauma? It’s a more active form of coping, appropriate for situations in which you can exercise some control, such as in the case of a business failure or a toxic relationship. By shouldering the responsibility for your own well-being and developing a plan of action, you have a map to navigate your way forward. Seeking out information, evaluating the pros and cons, learning new skills and applying a solutions focus are all positive forms of taking control.’
– From #WhatIs Post-Traumatic Growth? by Miriam Akhtar
Have you tried either of these methods?
You can find an explanation for emotion-focused mechanism inside the book.
We have a series of blog posts all about post-traumatic growth here.