Home for the Holidays; Healing Childhood Trauma edition

Speak Plainly

Nov 20 2023 • 36 mins

Coming home for the holidays after a long absence? I've been there, and I know the trepidation that can come along with those family reunions. I haven't been home for Christmas since my brother's death in 2007 and, trust me, I'm grappling with my own set of concerns. This episode is all about how to navigate these complex family dynamics during the holiday season, especially when you're dealing with potentially triggering situations. We'll be discussing radical acceptance therapy and DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skills, along with practical strategies like "I want, they want" ratio for managing interpersonal relationships. Your emotions could be on a roller coaster, but together, we can keep it steady.

Let's talk about pre-coping, a concept in DBT that has been my compass on this journey. It's all about planning ahead, and I tell you, it's been my lifeline as I gear up to spend Christmas with my family. From identifying desired outcomes to anticipating triggers, and even dealing with negative family members, pre-coping covers it all. Remember those positive holiday memories from childhood? We all have them. Let's circle back to those times and find ways to recreate them, while finding inner peace amidst the chaos.

Lastly, we'll explore how to manage difficult emotions like anger, fear, and sadness that tend to show up uninvited during the holidays. I'll share some coping strategies, and we'll delve into a behavioral analysis to help identify triggers leading to problematic behavior. We'll also look at some techniques to prepare for potentially stressful situations like Thanksgiving, including practicing progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) to manage tension. And for those of you facing really tough family dynamics, we've got a special segment on how PMR can be your calming technique. Let's navigate these holidays together, with peace, mindfulness and a little bit of wisdom.

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Music by Wutaboi

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