The wounds inflected by childhood abuse and trauma are on both the mind and body.
These wounds are relational and reflective of the things that were lacked during your most formative years. These wounds only heal in safe relationships that allow you to navigate healthy interaction while receiving understanding, compassion, and support.
That is why I believe Peer Support is so important for trauma survivors living with Complex PTSD and why I am so happy to offer Virtual Peer Support Sessions
But first …
What is Peer Support?
Peer Support is exactly what it sounds like, it is support from your peers. Often without realizing it, we all use peer support regularly in our lives. We look to our friends and family for advice and support. We go online and look for sites like like this one to read about others’ experiences with the same struggles we have so we can find tips, guidance, or a little bit of solace. We seek out support groups in our communities.
Not to diminish the importance of professional support and guidance in trauma healing, but sometimes we need a connection deeper than academics to help us sort through our struggles. Whether in a group, or individual – this is what peer support can offer trauma survivors.
The Idea Behind Its Success
There are six things that are believed to be key in the success of peer support and they all come from the idea of psychosocial interaction. In other words, how our brain responds to the environment of our social interaction.
Here are the things that can happen when we use our environment as a healing tool and connect with other survivors so that we can all help each other heal:
- Experiential Knowledge. When it comes to trauma healing, this speaks to the level of knowledge and perspective a person who has also been through childhood trauma can offer someone just beginning their healing journey.
- Social Support is about the connection and level of understanding that can be offered by someone who shares the same traumas and history of abuse.
- Social Comparison means that we feel more comfortable opening up about how crazy our heads get at times, with people who also have heads that get crazy. It’s easier to talk to and look for guidance about the struggles of CPTSD with someone who is also experiencing them and coping.
- Social Learning suggests that we learn from each other. As a survivor, I look to other survivors who are further in their healing journey for hope and for advice. In turn, I hope that the things I am learning and sharing help others who are not quite as far as I am.
- Helper Therapy translates into helping others has healing power. It is empowering, it gives perspective, it gives us purpose. Helping others who are struggling with childhood trauma will help us heal ourselves.
- Self-Determination means you make your own decisions. You decide what works best for you and you determine how you heal best.
Why Peer Support is More Important than Ever
Many of us have entered unprecedented and uncertain times. Healthcare is hard to obtain for many, and mental health is becoming a very real issue as we all struggle with stability in our lives.
Many of us are also looking for options that don’t require we go into an office, or have tons of cash in the bank.
Having online options for structured peer support groups are becoming more and more popular, and equally necessary for all of us as we learn to live with a new normal and cope with the triggers and trauma responses we are living through.
Survivor’s Circle Peer Support Group
Survivor’s Circle is a peer support group focused on providing a safe space for survivors of childhood trauma and abuse to gather and connect. You deserve a space where you can unpack and process your childhood experiences and gain support on your healing journey without worrying about filtering yourself.
You don’t have to heal alone.
We are stronger Together
Over the years as I share my story whether through this site, through life, and on other social media platforms I have made connections with other survivors that I know will stand the test of time.
There is something unbelievably special about the connection between survivors and our ability to help each other.
Shanon is a trauma informed, trained, and Certified Peer Support Specialist in the state of Wisconsin. She is a survivor with years committed to her own trauma healing after being diagnosed with (C) PTSD due to childhood abuse. Additionally, she has a professional and personal history of community facilitation and peer work.
These support groups and 1:1 peer support sessions should not replace professional therapy; they will however provide additional support and information.
You can also book individual 1:1 peer support sessions with Shanon for private support in a closed space. You deserve support as you heal, and I am here to help. You don’t have to heal alone.