• Getting to Know Me–The Value of Written Dialogue

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    Photo Credit: trbell.tripod.com

    This past November I visited Intensive Trauma Therapy (ITT) in Morgantown, West Virginia, for a week of trauma-specific therapy. One of the most valuable things I learned at ITT was the power of written and verbal dialogue to recode and “move” the stuck experiences produced by trauma from one side of our brains to the other.

    Verbal and written dialogue help us reestablish the necessary connection between the two sides of our brain that allows our traumatic experiences to be given a beginning, middle, and end and to be properly filed within our memories.

    Most mornings since coming home from ITT, I sit with a notebook in hand, writing dialogue to the parts of myself that got stuck by the traumatic experiences in my life.

    The little girl who was sexually assaulted and had no one to tell.

    The teenager who was chased down a deserted beach by a crazed man with a knife.

    The nineteen-year-old who was assaulted in her bed by a serial rapist.

    The caregiver who helped her mother with Alzheimer’s and father-in-law with Parkinson’s slowly die.

    Those “parts” of me became overwhelmed by trauma. And those stories became stuck in one side of my brain, contributing to escalating symptoms of PTSD over the years.

    But verbal and written dialogue with those parts has helped me create an ending to those stories and move on.

    Writing has given me greater understanding and compassion for those parts of myself that felt abandoned.

    Writing has given me insight and closure. It has helped me move on. It has significantly impacted my symptoms in positive ways, reducing anxiety, insomnia, and triggers.

    When I’m not writing, I dialogue in my head. The process is one of self-discovery and closure.

    For more information on dialogue therapy, visit Intensive Trauma Therapy.

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