Betrayal trauma can impact anyone and while there are many similarities in how it is conceptualized and treated, when considering betrayal trauma through the lens of neurodiversity, it is essential to address the unique challenges faced by individuals with diverse neurological profiles.
The concept of neurodiversity highlights the idea that our natural variation in neurological functioning should be recognized and celebrated. Individuals who are neurodivergent have distinct ways of perceiving, processing information, communicating, and interacting with others. Since neurodivergent people have differences in how they interact with their environment, it is important to understand that their reactions to events such as trauma, may also look a little different.
Betrayal trauma can be particularly challenging for individuals who are neurodivergent due to a variety of factors, including differences in sensory processing, social communication, and cognitive processing.
Sensory Overload: Neurodivergent individuals may experience heightened sensory sensitivity or difficulties regulating emotions, making it harder to cope with the overwhelming emotions triggered by betrayal trauma.
Social Communication Challenges: Difficulties in social communication might make their ability to express their feelings or seek support effectively after experiencing betrayal more challenging.
Cognitive Processing Differences: Neurological differences may affect how they process information related to trust, boundaries, or understanding complex social dynamics involved in betrayal situations.
With these things in mind, when navigating healing from betrayal trauma as a neurodivergent individual, keep the following in mind:
- Education & Self-Awareness: Learn about your specific neurotype and how it might influence your experiences of both betrayal trauma and healing processes. Ask yourself questions like, do I need more time to verbally process or do I process better when I am on my own first? Do I need information written down or is verbal communication only an ok option for me?
- Seek Support from Understanding Professionals: Work with therapists or counselors who are knowledgeable about both betrayal trauma recovery and neurodiversity. Look for credentials that indicate they have some advanced training and experience in these areas.
- Accommodations & Strategies: Identify coping mechanisms that work best for you, such as sensory regulation techniques, visual supports, or alternative communication methods.
- Advocate for Your Needs: Communicate your unique challenges and needs to trusted individuals in your support network, including friends, family members, or partners.
- Peer Support: Connect with neurodiverse communities or support groups where you can share experiences and learn from others who have navigated similar challenges.
- Self-Care & Emotional Regulation: Develop self-care practices that align with your neurodivergent strengths and preferences. This may include engaging in special interests/hobbies or practicing mindfulness techniques tailored to your sensory needs.
Recognizing the unique challenges of healing from betrayal trauma as a neurodivergent person and implementing strategies that cater to your needs will help you engage in a more meaningful healing journey. Each person’s experience is valid and deserving of understanding and support. Embrace your neurodiversity as a source of strength while seeking resources specifically tailored to address the nuances of being neurodivergent.
If you’d like to explore therapy options with therapists trained in betrayal trauma who also understand the unique needs of neurodiverse people, please reach out to the BTRC today.