A Metaphor of Healing from emotional trauma
Therapy dog, Tuppence, provided a metaphor for healing from emotional trauma.
Sometimes parents have to do things kids don’t like in order to help them heal from their emotional trauma. My therapy dog, Tuppence, recently required stiches in her eyelid. As a consequence she has been required by me, her ”mom”, to wear a plastic cone around her neck. Tuppence would never have chosen to wear the cone of her own free will, but it has been the most effective, kind way to prevent her from tearing the stiches out. When she was enjoying freedom from the cone one day she did tear one of the stiches. While she has not enjoyed wearing the cone, Tuppence has tolerated it well, and her eye is now healing nicely.
It occurred to me that Tuppence’ cone is a good metaphor for some of the things parents do, which kids don’t like, such as wearing seat belts and doing chores. It’s the parents’ job to enforce the rules, teach, and protect their children. Everyone understands that a broken arm requires a cast even though the child who wears it would rather be able to go swimming. Sometimes emotional wounds also require adjustments which are uncomfortable, or inconvenient.
• Tutoring is sometimes necessary to help a child overcome gaps in learning brought about by early trauma.
• Physical therapy may help a child overcome sensory integration problems.
• Temporary separation from siblings may help a child who has relational difficulties at home.
• Removal of electronic devices during the week may be necessary for a child who is unable otherwise to focus on their homework.
• Going to therapy in order to process traumatic memories may not be as much fun as playing on the playground. However, integrating those memories could provide relief and allow healing to occur.
As Tuppence has helped demonstrate this week, sometimes short term discomfort is worth it in order to achieve healing.
To learn more about how Family Christian Counseling Center works with children who have experienced trauma please click on the link.