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Beyond Your Past
Podcast - Ep. 95 - Post Traumatic Growth, with Lucille Zimmerman
October 22, 2018 Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

When I first started blogging, the primary focus was living with Dissociation, Anxiety, and PTSD. After all, those are the things that I struggled with the most. Being a survivor of childhood trauma, I never knew that I could have PTSD; for so long I thought that was only for those who were in the military. I had never even heard of Dissociation until I spent a couple of years working with a therapist. Anxiety, well I knew I was anxious but I didn't realize how much it was affecting my life and how those anxious feelings had turned into full-blown anxiety.

As time went on and my work with a therapist continued, and then working with a trauma informed coach, I began to learn about this concept of Post Traumatic Growth. It sounded intriguing to me since I was engulfing into healing so much that I figured it had to start paying off eventually, and this Post Traumatic Growth thing sounded like the path I was headed toward, which was exciting.

Wait, did I just say that trauma work was exciting?  Well not really the trauma work itself, but the healing sure was. That's how I approached this journey; as a learning experience. I figured, if I had endured the childhood sexual abuse between 5-10 years old, if I had experienced more bullying in middle school than I cared to admit, then I should at least try to learn from it and use it to my advantage. I didn't want the trauma to be the end of my story.

My guest on this episode of the podcast, is Counselor, Teacher, and Author, Lucille Zimmerman. She is an expert on Post Traumatic Growth, and shares her insight on this subject with us on the show.

Lucille Zimmerman has a Master of Arts in Counseling degree, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.  She works with individuals and groups from supportive to insight-oriented psychotherapy, and has worked in a variety of mental health facilities, which included crises/resource oriented counseling to more one-on-one insight therapy.

I have experience treating people in crises, coping with health and midlife issues, eating disorders, struggles related to self-esteem, child abuse, trauma, and marital difficulties. I work with adults treat many people with a wide spectrum of emotional struggles and concerns. I work from a bio-psycho-social context and my treatment approach is adapted to each individual according to need. I am also trained in EMDR for trauma.

On the podcast today we dive into some specific aspects of Post Traumatic Growth, including:

  • Some of her story, and how past traumatic events in her life, including the Columbine Shooting in 1999, affected her and lead to begin searching for how she could help others who experienced all types of trauma.
  • Just because you experienced trauma, does that automatically mean you will get PTSD, and what factors contribute to PTSD?
  • Why do some people grow as a result of trauma, while others stay stuck
  • Keys to Post Traumatic Growth, and ways that we can help ourselves heal and learn from the trauma.
  • How ruminating can actually be a good thing, and even necessary, in order to experience Post Traumatic Growth.

I encourage you to listen to Lucille share with you all of those topics and more on the podcast. We spend a good deal of time talking about those keys to growth and why some people struggle while others are able to heal; and as we talked I was examining my own life and how some of the skills and strategies I used to during some deep parts of my healing, were the very same ones she mentioned as well. In fact, I still use those skills today, because like we always say on Beyond Your Past, healing from trauma is a life long journey.

Lucille's insight

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