What kind of man do you want to be? And, what’s keeping you from being that man? Chances are, one of the things getting in that way is unresolved pain from the past. “Ah, horse shit!” you say. “I can’t stand those people who blame their parents and their teachers and their schoolyard bullies for everything. Just get over it already!”
So, here’s the bad news: the impact of childhood, relational trauma—the type of trauma that falls more in line with day-to-day instances of verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and emotional neglect—is not just the stuff of daytime TV talk shows. It’s been the subject of rigorous scientific study for some years now and has been shown time and again to not only have a negative impact on your behavior, but also on your actual physical health. (Read more about the ACEs Study for details.)
But, here’s the good news. According to our guest Dr. Mike Barnes, you can change the past—Kind of. Sometimes understanding how and why you struggled within your family can help you change your story. Did you know you wrote it? That means you can rewrite it!
And, if you struggle with anger, anxiety, depression, or addiction, identifying the traumas that may have triggered those struggles can allow you to take advantage of the many groundbreaking treatment options that have become available in recent years, including EMDR and neurofeedback.
If your aim is to live a life that’s more intentional and more fulfilling than the one that was modeled for you growing up, this is a topic you won’t want to shy away from. It’s not about blaming other people for your problems–it’s about taking responsibility for your own behaviors through deeper self-knowledge.
Dr. Michael Barnes is the Chief Clinical Officer at Foundry Treatment Center in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Working with his clinical team at Foundry, Dr Barnes is developing a trauma-integrated treatment process. His areas of responsibility included clinical oversight of all clinical programs, new program development, clinical supervision, and oversight of clinical record keeping. Dr. Barnes continues to present at national conferences, invited presentations, and as a guest lecturer at universities on the subjects of trauma, addiction, and the impact of trauma and addiction on family systems.
Resilience: The Science of Managing Life’s Greatest Challenges by Steven Southwick and Dennis Charney
Pathways from the Culture of Addiction to the Culture of Recovery by William L. White.
“That episode we did with that Canadian guy” (Connor Beaton)