How to prevent trauma in yourself and others

How to prevent trauma in yourself and others

How to prevent trauma in yourself and others 2560 1808 Karin von Daler Healing Arts

This beautiful summer of sun and warmth is also a time of wars, tragedies, crises, and change. I have heard from so many people that they’re feeling scared and alone and feel like they’ve lost touch with themselves and others – and with nature.

But I’m also hearing that more and more people are standing up for what’s good, for healing, and for what we can create together. That gives me hope.

I’ve been working with the wonderful expressive arts-based organization, First Aid of the Soul, which provides mental health support for people who are affected by the war in Ukraine. It’s been beyond inspiring to see the mutual connecting, giving, and support that happens in the workshops and meetings there.

The other day I went to a very moving online workshop with drama therapist and art therapist Dr. Steven Durost to learn about how to prevent chronic trauma reactions in war, tragedies, and crises.

Steven taught us how creating safety in a group, between two people or inside ourselves, can help prevent trauma. He showed us that healing is about feeling seen, witnessed, and met.

It turns out that research has found what you already know intuitively, that if someone really sees you, and has your back when something difficult happens, the risk of your being traumatized is vastly reduced.

But how do you get someone to really see you, and understand you, you might be thinking. You can help make this happen by being present and being a loving witness for yourself and others.

Here are some good ways to do this alone or with others:

Put one hand on your heart, breathe calmly and really feel what you’re feeling.

Ask yourself lovingly how you are feeling and listen appreciatively. Inwardly, ask yourself what you need.

Do the butterfly hug, which you can see here:

Paint, dance or write about where you are right now, and curiously and lovingly engage with what comes out of you. Play with it and dialogue with it.

And most importantly, next time you’re with another human being, notice if you could be just a bit more present: look at them and listen to them from your heart. Respond to what they are sharing with warmth and creativity.

I hope one of these suggestions can support you right now.

I will write to you a little later in the summer after taking some vacation time. In the meantime, you can find more free tips, support, inspiration, videos, plus healing and creative meditations on this page.

Take good care of yourself and those around you. May we heal and create a better world together.

With love and creativity,


P.S.: My new creative self-healing cards in English will be published by Wonderland Publishing in later this summer! If you’d like to be the first to know about how to get a deck of your own, sign up for my free, creative newsletter. Can’t wait to share them with you!