Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

Counsellors need to be ‘enlightened witness’ for the client and not pushing any other agenda.

9 Comments

As long as this child within is not allowed to become aware of what happened to him or her, a part of his or her emotional life will remain frozen, and sensitivity to the humiliations of childhood will therefore be dulled.

All appeals to love, solidarity, and compassion will be useless if this crucial prerequisite of sympathy and understanding is missing.

This fact has special implications for trained psychologists, because without empathy they cannot apply their professional knowledge in a beneficial way, regardless of how much time they devote to their patients.

~ Alice Miller

I believe a counsellor needs to be an enlightened witness.

  • An empathic person, the client can feel safe enough to ‘trust’, who’s sole purpose is to be there for the ‘clients needs’.
  • To help the client understand the evilness of what occurred to them and know the blame and shame of this lies 100% with the abuser, who made choices to harm.
  • To unravel ‘all’ of their hurt within, to help them feel all their needed emotions from all the wounds inflicted upon the child within.
  • To assist the client to stop suppressing and internalising the abuse(r), and start getting all these painful emotions, of betrayal, fear, loneliness, neglect, anger, grieving, despair, abandonment, distrust, depression etc…out.
  • To help the client know all their unmet needs, still affecting their life.

Without this enlightened witness, I don’t believe the survivor, will heal to the same depth.

I am aware, it takes connection to another human being, to heal these core inner wounds.

The reason, I believe another human being is needed….is because it was human beings who caused these wounds.

I don’t have this. I don’t have a human being, who is an enlightened being – to the depth I need.

My husband, counselling, friends…none provide this.

My husband doesn’t have anywhere near the empathy needed to understand my emotional needs. He is very willing and great at practical help, and I am blessed with that and I accept his lack of empathy. He is who he is.

My counsellor, well it was Christian counselling and this is always based on greater compassion, empathy for the abusers, than the victims, flaunted in your face. They just don’t want to accept people are ‘bad’. Far too much ‘shaming’ victims and far too much ‘move on within a set amount of time’, otherwise you must be ‘nursing, cursing or rehearsing your trauma’ messages to victims – again more shaming. I’ve known being pushed into ‘moving on’ was not what I needed, as there was more processing needed. And it has become clear that ‘digging deep’ into the trauma, is not really welcomed. People don’t want to hear the ‘truth’ and ‘reality’ of what abusers are really like. Too many agenda’s. I have accepted the lack there too.

No blame attached, just an acknowledgement of the lack of my needs being met.

I need counselling with an enlightened witness.

Because this for a start, is the only way the

survivor will have the level of trust needed,

to build a relationship ‘safe enough’ within which,

therapeutic counselling of any value,

can be experienced.  

Pretty depressing, to know I don’t have that.

Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle. ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

9 thoughts on “Counsellors need to be ‘enlightened witness’ for the client and not pushing any other agenda.

  1. As her day job, my counsellor works with adopted children and children in care. She has wonderful insight and empathy for my childhood self, and experience of what childhood needs are. She isn’t a christian counsellor, but allows me to talk about God if I want to. Maybe search for someone like that. The technique is “relational therapy” I believe. Recognising that your therapist is not helping you in the way you need is half the battle – then you can address that lack. It took me a year or so to realise that my old psychologist was not using a technique that was working for me, and then I could stop blaming myself for my lack of progress. And then I started to pay privately. Best thing I ever did. It is worth every penny of the £35 an hour I pay xx

    • Thank you ❤

      I know need to find a new counselling and I'm trying to process this.

      It's complicated by transference issues I had, grieving and my fear of talking to anyone now.

      It is something I need to get my head around at some point.

      • It’s difficult to try other counselors because we’re already dealing with a lifetime of being invalidated. I have gone through this a couple times and it’s taken years between counselors for me to dare try again. Our society is so quick to blame the victims. All of us have heard the kind of things said when a woman is attacked on the street: “she shouldn’t have been there alone at night”, “look at what she was wearing, she asked for it”, etc.

        When it’s long-term abuse it’s always about “why didn’t she leave?”, “they could’ve told someone”. I can guess some of why it’s done but it still doesn’t make it acceptable. What I’ve personally struggled with is that people generally don’t accept adult children coming out against their parents. It’s become more openly talked about among survivors in recent years which is a good thing but it’s still taboo for people who haven’t been through it. Counselors often believe family should stay intact and can advocate for victims of abuse to forgive and move on much to their detriment. Even talking at length with a potential counselor may not be enough to ensure that they’re going to be helpful.

        I do believe that with more and more people speaking out we are going to get better at working through these issues. Counselors are understanding more about what their clients need as clients connect with like people who are able to validate each other. However, we still have a way to go in not blaming & shaming people who have been abused. There’s a quote that says something like, victims of parental abuse are abused twice. First by the parents and second by society when they become adults and speak out about the abuse.

      • Yes, I agree. I am an advocate against victim shaming & victim blaming, as I see this occurring all too often.
        I agree the more of us speaking up, the more educated and informed society will become.
        It is an area of advocacy, I am passionate about, as I see the damage and further traumatising, victim blaming/shaming inflicts.
        And victims of abuse, have already been traumatised enough.
        Lilly ❤

  2. Empathy for abusers??? That should not be a part of Christian (or non-Christian) counselling. Counseling is about what is best for you, not for a third party.

    I think that for a counselor to be truly effective they need to teach you how to meet your own needs – by showing directly what you need to be able to show yourself (given time). In other words it should be about reducing self-blame and shame (which are known to be caused by PTSD and child abuse), which would allow you to reduce your own sense of shame and self-blame. (If your abusers and counselor are the same gender then this could be countertransference.)

    A trauma specialist might be better: some trauma specialists are Christian counselors too of course. I hope you can think over whether another counselor would be better suited to trauma work (and probably more experienced).

  3. It does sound like a lack of understanding of trauma. People don’t “get” trauma because it works differently to other anxieties – eg. exposure therapy may not work if it just amounts to you re-experiencing the trauma. I have found that the pain and grief needs to be worked through before you can start to understand the abusers. There is too much focus on early forgiveness in the Christian community. I read somewhere recently that if you try to forgive before you have grieved the hurt, then it is denial rather than forgiveness x