Questions to Ask about Trauma and Abuse

Questions youth could ask the adults (therapists, counselors, teachers, relatives) in their lives who are trying to help:

  • Can you trust that I will stop harming myself when I have become part of a community of my peers where I feel safe?
  • Can you help me explore the idea that they were wrong to harm me at a pace I am comfortable with?
  • Can you help me tell my story even when I don’t have words for it?
  • How could you do this?
  • Can you help me find new ways to relate to my body?
  • If we have different ideas about my problem, can you validate my ideas about why I do this ?
  • Can you support my primary need to be in community with my peers?
  • Can you support my healing in primary connection with my peers?
  • Can you work with me as a team to fight the self-harm?
  • Can you trust that I will stop cutting, burning, or other self-harm when I have learned to trust other ways to tell my story?

Questions for single women:

  • Do you believe your own hands that harm you are “innocent hands”?
  • Is it possible to make the connection between the self-harm and the early trauma, but still believe that you are capable of being in charge of stopping those activities that harm you?
  • Do you believe that, until now, you have found the best way you know how to tell the story of your childhood abuse by harming yourself?
  • How can members of your support network (maybe including your family) get involved in fighting against this self-harm? Can you coordinate these efforts?
  • If you were not so busy dealing with trauma, what else would you be doing? Or like to be doing?
  • Do you think it’s fair that you have to reexperience the injustice of abuse over and over again?
  • Why do so many women end up suffering through their lives at the expense of the people who have abused them?
  • Do you not feel that you have already suffered enough?

Questions for couples:

  • Do either of you believe that the woman’s self-harm/addictions could be connected to her childhood trauma?
  • Is it possible to make the connection between the self-harm and the early trauma, but still believe that she is capable of being in charge of her self-harming behaviors/addictions – instead of a slave to them?
  • Do you both believe that the woman, until now, has found the best way she can to show to tell the story of her childhood abuse by harming herself?
  • Could you imagine what life would be like if you could unite against this trauma (vs. her drinking, or other abusive behavior)?
  • Who else could help you in this battle?
  • What else holds you together as a couple besides your mutual enslavement to past abuses?

Questions for families:

  • What is it that X is trying to tell us?
  • What has each family member already tried to do to change the impact of this self-harm?
  • How can each member of the family get involved in fighting against the reenactment of the trauma in a way that is supportive of the woman?
  • Is their any trauma being reenacted in your own lives?
  • What would help you to understand that the woman reenacting trauma is doing the best she can do at the moment?
  • What might help each member of this family understand that letting go of self-harming behaviors takes more than the “just say no” approach.
  • Based on your experience, are their specific ways this family interacts that have been proven to be helpful?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *