I have experienced childhood trauma. Many of us have. When I was a psychotherapist, I was careful about what I disclosed to my clients, my peers, my family and the public in general. It is considered unprofessional to discuss such matters, and depending on how one is raised, it may be considered taboo to discuss the matters of trauma at all, ever.
In the mental health field we learn mostly not to self-disclose. Only disclose when it benefits the therapeutic process. There is no hard and fast rule, but less is considered best. I found my comfort level with my own self-disclosure to clients and I followed a minimalist approach.
Over the years though, I became more vocal with family, friends and peers about my own experiences and how my experiences have impacted my life and my work. And now I talk in first person. I. Me. I went through this. Yes, me. I did.
As a professional, I had never talked about trauma as it relates to me. If I discussed trauma I would present the information as if teaching a class about theories of psychology. I removed “me” from the topic. But that has shifted. I recently spoke at a Summit about thriving after trauma. Specifically I spoke about Balancing Chakras as a Foundation for Thriving Trauma. And I talked about how this process has helped me with my own recovery from childhood trauma. (If you are interested you can listen to the audio HERE). That was my coming out party- the first time I intertwined my own identity as a trauma survivor into a professional presentation.
Now that I conduct healing sessions and provide wellness coaching, I am more at ease self-disclosing with clients. I am a wounded healer. My wounds have made me who I am, personally and professionally. I am vulnerable just like the client who contacts me online or sits before me in person. Yesterday I self-disclosed a rather major life event on Facebook. It wasn’t a trip to New York City or a milestone birthday. It was the revelation of just how deeply I have been betrayed by someone I deeply loved. I disclosed my grief and my anguish for anyone and everyone to see. And I was asked by a dear friend while I felt compelled to do so.
I have become much more real, more genuine and more authentic. And with that comes transparency. I am not worried that my disclosure hurts my professional reputation. I am a wounded healer. All wounded healers have gifts to share with others- a light that shines bright. And my life’s work is to be a beacon for others. The more authentic I am, the more vulnerable I become, the brighter my light shines.