Do you struggle with positive thinking advice because of trauma? Do you blame yourself more or worry about having negative thoughts after learning about the law of attraction? Do you wish that manifestation teachers were more knowledgeable about how trauma has impacted your ability to trust the Universe and believe in a positive future?
The truth is that most manifestation teachings aren’t trauma-sensitive or trauma-informed. Here’s what my approach, called Trauma-Informed Manifesting®, looks like.
The Impact of Trauma on Goals
Trauma results from experiences that overwhelm our ability to cope. A trauma-informed approach recognizes that while not everyone experiences trauma, it is still pervasive and often unacknowledged.
When it comes to manifesting, trauma can interfere with the healthy pursuit of goals by impacting our beliefs, emotions, and behaviors long after the threat is gone. Trauma causes us to focus on self-preservation rather than healthy growth despite our best efforts to move beyond fear. Studies show that trauma impacts our self-esteem, motivation, and goal striving.
A trauma-informed approach helps us feel safe and empowered enough to grow and pursue our goals in healthy ways. Rather than focusing on our survival and the chronic trauma responses that we’ve had to rely on, we develop new skills and start to trust ourselves. Over time, we start to trust that it’s possible and safe to experience good things in our lives. This is when some of our long-desired goals finally feel more accessible.
Trauma-Informed Manifesting® is an approach to manifesting goals that is empowering and supportive to all, but is particularly inclusive and responsive to the needs of people who have experienced trauma. It explores the impact of popular manifestation advice on mental health and promotes an awareness of healthy practices.
I first discovered the need for a trauma-informed approach to manifesting when I completed my dissertation research on spirituality and reproductive trauma over fifteen years ago. What I learned is that traditional manifestation teachings around important life goals such as pregnancy can exacerbate traumatic stress. When they aren’t taught in a trauma-sensitive way, ideas such as the law of attraction and practices such as visualization can increase emotion dysregulation, anxiety, self-blame, flashbacks, and dissociation. What is needed in such situations is that manifesting be taught in a way that incorporates everything we’ve learned in the past two decades about neurobiology, psychology, and trauma healing.
As a Princeton University-trained Clinical Psychologist who focuses on trauma and the psychology of spirituality, I created a specific trauma-informed and trauma-sensitive method for teaching manifesting. I call this method Trauma-Informed Manifesting®.
Trauma-Informed Manifesting® teaches people who have experienced adversity and trauma to:
- Understand that traditional positive thinking advice might not work for them and provide them with trauma-sensitive modifications
- Recognize that they didn’t attract or manifest their trauma
- Understand how manifestation beliefs and practices can actually trigger or exacerbate mental health symptoms
- Address issues of privilege in manifestation teachings
- Recognize how systemic injustice and historical, cultural, racial, and gender issues impact our access to resources and success
- Recognize and move beyond toxic positivity
- Recognize spiritual bypassing and explore the potential of spirituality without bypassing emotions
- Release self-blame connected to manifestation teachings, especially the law of attraction
- Understand how trauma can impact our nervous system and keep us stuck in survival mode
- Understand how trauma can impact our ability to be optimistic and hopeful
- Recognize how trauma can affect self-worth and our ability to receive what we desire
- Nurture self-compassion and reparenting as a part of the healing and manifesting process
- Increase feelings of safety in the world and trust in the manifestation process
- Regulate their emotions using psychological tools and techniques
- Use safe healing tools and techniques that release traumatic blocks to manifesting goals
Trauma-Informed Manifesting® is a compassionate approach to manifesting that emphasizes safety, empowerment, and healing. It fosters emotional healing and post-traumatic growth by teaching people that they can pursue meaningful goals in healthy ways.
If you’ve experienced trauma, have old wounds that interfere with manifesting goals, or have had negative experiences with traditional spiritual manifestation beliefs or practices, this program is designed for you. My approach to teaching manifesting is based on neuroscience, trauma research, and my almost twenty years of clinical experience helping people navigate manifesting the things they want in life in way that’s sensitive and empowering.
If you’d like to learn more, I created an online course called Healing from Negative Manifestation Experiences. It is one of the courses that I teach as a part of my Trauma-Informed Manifesting® method.