This task shifts to processing the trauma, putting words and emotions to it and making meaning of it. This process is usually undertaken with a counselor or therapist in group and/or individual therapy. It might not be necessary or required to spend a lot of time in this phase. It is however necessary to be continuing to attend to safety and stability during this phase. Attending to safety allows the persona affected by trauma to move through this phase in a way that integrates the story of the trauma rather than reacts to it in a fight, flight or freeze response.
Pacing and timing are crucial during this phase. If the person affected by trauma becomes quickly overwhelmed and emotionally flooded when talking about their trauma memories, safety and stability must be regained before moving further on with the story. The point is not to “re-live” the trauma but nor is it to tell the story with no emotions attached.
This phase involves the important task of exploring and mourning the losses associated with the trauma and providing space to grieve and express their emotions.