It can be a big deal for someone going through trauma to want to open up to you. You may not know what to do or say if you have never been through trauma yourself. It is important to listen to what your friend has to say and be there for them in any way they ask to help with their trauma.
Why is it Important to Listen When Someone is Traumatized?
Listening can be a powerful tool. Instead of being quick to interrupt, let your friend get through their whole story at their own pace as it is a big step to tell anyone about something tragic that happened to them. This will help your friend make sense of what happened as well as being heard and supported. Make active listening noises to show that you are paying attention such as “Uh huh,” “I see,” “Hmm.” If you want to ask any questions, wait until your friend is done talking. Listening shows that you care about what your friend has to say.
Why Can’t I Place Judgement While My Friend is Opening Up?
Your friend probably took awhile to talk to you about their traumatic incident in fear that they may receive judgment. Do not make your friend relieve their nightmares. People who went through trauma normally have a low self-esteem and feel like they could have done something differently. As a friend, it is your job to remain neutral about the situation. Do not talk about what your friend did wrong or did not do wrong as well as how things could have been different. Just support your friend by telling them no matter what happened, it is still a terrible thing that happened and you are there for them.
What Can I Do For My Friend After They Finish Talking?
It is best not to tell your friend how they should feel. Some people feel anger, grief, despair, or fear after a traumatic incident. There is no right way to feel as everyone’s experiences are different. Some people need time to heal on their own. You could offer support in suggesting seeing a therapist or going to a support group to get help for their trauma in a way like you are not telling them what to do. Simply being present in your friend’s life and not judging them will help them towards the path to treatment.
Located in Draper, Utah at the base of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains, Corner Canyon works with adults who are over 18 struggling with mental health diagnoses like depression, anxiety, trauma, bi-polar, and other mood disorders seeking treatment. Corner Canyon offers advanced technology to help their clients such as brain balancing technology to better assess the brain for those with PTSD and artificial intelligence to process therapeutic data to deliver a personalized treatment program for all clients. For more information, please call us at 866-399-3469 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.