Internationally Recognized Psychotherapist, Theorist, Educator, and Author, Marilyn Murray, shares the differences between trauma and emotional abuse.
Michelle King Robson: Let's do a couple of things. Name some of the abuses the trauma that people face, and then let's talk about the treatments.
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Okay. Well, first it's like knowing the difference between trauma and abuse. Trauma includes abuse, but trauma can be many things. It can be an abuse issue. Well, for instance abuse is personal okay. So its physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse those but it's when some, somebody's doing something to you, you're experiencing that, but trauma includes that abuse. But it can also be being in a war, being in an accident, having your parent die, your spouse, loved one, so trauma is much, much wider. Its like, trauma is fruit, and abuse is oranges so in other words all abuse is trauma, but not all trauma is abuse.
Michelle King Robson: And so tell us what some of the -- what you can do in a trauma situation. How you -- what are the different methods of treatment for that, and then what are the different methods I would imagine that there is some crossover in treatment and differences in treatment?
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Oh yes of course.
Michelle King Robson: Yes.
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Well, one of the things I always say to people is that I believe that we're created with our emotions to be able to use them immediately. And so for instance, when my sexual abuse happened I was eight years old, and had I been able to go home, and tell my parents what happened, a cry, I had them comfort me, love me, tell me that I wasn't wrong that I wasn't bad that the men who sexually abused me were the ones that were bad not me. And had them really comfort me, yes I would had some nightmares, and I would have, it would have been bad for a while, but I would have eventually work through that, and to where the long-term effects would have been much, much less.
But it's like one of the things when I teach students now is that I say okay if I'd to cut myself and had a really deep cut. If I went immediately to the doctor and took care of that, my scar would only be so big. But if I ignored it, and pretend like it wasn't there, and I got infected, I can lose my whole arm or it might go into my heart and die. So it's not so much the original trauma or abuse issue that causes a long-term damage as it is the neglect of it, and so for me because I didn't deal with it.
Michelle King Robson: So did you not say anything to anybody?
Dr. Marilyn Murray: No.
Michelle King Robson: Never?
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Never did. And I came from a family of trauma. My mother when she was 17 saw her mother and 16 year old sister burned to death in front of her in a fire that she thought was her fault. And my father's mother was killed by a lightning when he was seven, and he was there at the time, and so they learn to deal with those traumas by not dealing with it, never talking about it, keeping the smile on their face.
Michelle King Robson: So then it -- so what happens is then it goes from family member to family --
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Exactly.
Michelle King Robson: -- so it starts with the parents and then it goes down to --
Dr. Marilyn Murray: And the grandparents --
Michelle King Robson: -- the children, and the grandparents, and it just filters right down through the whole family.
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Exactly.