Reconnection with Inner Strength as a way to Empower Women

Article / Conference Presentation

Barb Smith Varclova

Trauma Therapist – CPTSD specialist, Your Steps Counselling.
United Kingdom.

*Corresponding author :

Barb Smith Varclova
Trauma Therapist – CPTSD specialist, Your Steps Counselling.
United Kingdom.

Affected by childhood trauma is more people than statistics show. The result is that millions of women have been living in survival mode for decades, and to change their lives, they need help to reconnect with themselves.

The way to recognise and reconnection with the “Inner Strength” started for me more than 30 years ago when I was diagnosed at the age of 17 with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was told by doctors that I should learn to live with that.

In search for a recovery solution, I found, thanks to luck or Universe synchronicity, Silva’s Method of Mind Control and especially his UltraMind course, which opened my understanding of how the mind is in control of our body, and just in a few months, I was able to change my physical state to be pain and tiredness free and be able to go on with life.

Fredrickson’s broaden-and-build theory suggests that experiencing positive emotions can broaden an individual’s mindset and build enduring personal resources, contributing to inner strength.]

(Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56(3), 218-226).

That leads to the question of what happens if we lack a source of positive emotions in childhood and how it affects the development of mental capacities. When we are present, inner strength is not the power of will; it is a calm, grounded feeling when we feel connected with our bodies, with space around us, and our mind and body reacting correctly to the surrounding situation.

And that was missing in the lives of the women I work with. They weren’t present because they reacted to unprocessed emotions and belief systems created during their childhood trauma.

Herman, J. L. (1992). Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence—from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. Basic Books.

Often, when we speak about childhood trauma, we think about domestic and witnessed violence, substance abuse, poverty and other more obvious reasons. However, emotional abuse often contributes to a lack of parents and daycare, divorce, bereavement in a close family, significant illness in the family, lack of expectations or too many expectations, cultural shock, being the oldest, middle or youngest child, sibling with learning difficulties, isolation, and the list goes on. And in all these situations are triggered Fight ro Flight trauma responses. However, the function of these responses is to leave or change the situation. In fight response, we try to make the source of fear leave and flight response to remove ourselves. But children don’t have that option. They have to stay in a situation and find a way to survive. And that is the moment when we start suppressing our inner strength. That leads to the development of Freeze and Fawn trauma responses, which then manifest as anxiety, depression, feelings of numbness, panic attacks, dissociation and other symptoms we would find under the description of Complex PTSD.

In lives, it is also shown as a lack of boundaries, low self-esteem, inability to voice own opinions, stand up for yourself, lack of self-care, unhappiness, outbursts of anger, control, harsh and negative self-talk, and trust issues. Suppression of inner strength creates further disconnection from one’s feelings or overwhelming feelings when unreleased emotions try to find a way out of the mind, leading to self-harm, drug or alcohol abuse, eating disorders, workaholism, addictions and other unhealthy coping mechanisms.

So it is not complicated to recognise that a person is living in survival mode, on high alert, and not always present. To see in behaviours that some part of the mind reacts from the mindset of the child. Many people are diagnosed with PTSD, CPTSD, BPD, DA, etc., but they are told to manage their symptoms or learn to live with them. So my mission was and continues to be to find and offer solutions – we can easily recognise trauma in the lives of others, but the focus should be on recovery.

A great example is a recommendation to learn to manage anger, which is impossible to manage. It is a subconscious reaction. Some people who suffer from anger as a trauma response end up in prison because they sometimes hurt somebody even if they don’t want to.

And we can see how women become aggressive with their children because they just trigger their own childhood trauma. They feel overwhelmed; they don’t know where it is coming from. When    I looked at that and started working with people, I discovered that we often discuss techniques to calm the mind. And many people would say, no, I cannot even meditate. I’m so overwhelmed my mind’s running us on the hamster wheel. And yes, because when we are on high alert in survival mode, we cannot even do that when people cannot sleep. So they’re so tired that they can even think that it’s really hard for them to sit down with coaches and go through things, and they will say – I can consciously make it all understand that, but I still don’t understand why I’m not doing it, why I’m procrastinating, why I cannot communicate with my colleagues, why I’m afraid to stand up in front of others and speak for my ideas.

Why can’t I walk out on an abusive partner? Why can’t I just be myself? And when we ask them Who you really are? Then, very often, the answer will be    I really don’t know who I am. Because when we are living in survival mode of reactions stemming from childhood trauma, we are living in reaction. We are not living a full life, knowing who we are, what our purpose is, and what we want in life.

In researching what the basis of these reactions are, my clients described a wide range of beliefs from I am not enough; I cannot do what I want to do, I am not worthy, I cannot allow myself to feel, I have to do what I am told, I am not allowed to be happy to World is a dangerous place, I am not safe,       I cannot survive, Life is hard, Nobody cares, Life is not worth of living. And the majority of them would find, in a deeper examination of their mindset, strongly embedded belief I am not allowed to be myself.

So, I looked around to different modalities, spiritual and philosophical teachings, and many theories about our inner structures and tested and tried and tested my findings in work with people. In the end, I found out that we all have the parts in us which we need, which are how we function and how we have, and I’m not speaking about the inner child; we all have an inner child, respectively different versions of our child, but that is topic of itself.

We are all born with functional parts of the mind. These are inner strengths, self-love, intuition, knowledge, and purpose. We all need them working together in full function to be able to choose our reactions in the present moment based on correct recognition of emotional and bodily reactions, be a fully functional adult, live our lives fully, and not respond to the past.

I choose the one thing which I think is vital to recovery because I see it, and in the end, I find in every single person I work with child trauma that we are disconnected or so suppress our inner strengths. Not that willpower to do things, not the power to survive, but that inner strength which makes us feel safe, that inner strength, which makes us know there are no boundaries, that inner strength which goes and people feel it from us and respect us, and we have it in our posture, in our speaking way. And we are strong inside, calm and feel safe.

The inner strength uses our anger as a protective reaction. I always describe it as the knight on the white horse coming to save us when we are afraid of somebody going over our boundaries. The important is that if we get afraid as children and we are not consoled and we cannot express our anger, we cannot express ourselves. What we do naturally is to put it in, start making it smaller and smaller, and store it inside. But because it’s a knight on the white horse, he has the sword, and that sword keeps working because he’s still working that anger. He still will come every moment when we are afraid that anger will come up every moment when we walk to the boss’s office and cannot speak because we have tightened necks and cannot even say the word that we want to raise. Or every time we stand in front of the class and struggle to speak, every time we cannot tell our partner that we are not accepting the behaviour every time that anger will come but stay inside.
So we hurt ourselves by that, and we think about ourselves, that we are weak, that we are not working, that we don’t deserve it, and many other things like that.

But if we know what is not working, we can change that. Lately, we speak about neuroplasticity, but it is really about the enormous ability of the mind to adapt to keep us alive. Our mind will always do to keep us alive. When we recognise that the current function and beliefs are not functional anymore, we can reprogram and reset to functional mode. If we know that we suppress our inner strength to do what we can do, everybody can do it because we all can access our subconscious mind. In that 5 minutes before we fall asleep or fully wake up, we are in our alpha ways and have access to our subconscious mind. And, of course, easily with hypnosis or self-hypnosis. We need to find our inner strength and we need to unleash it. We need to give back that power which had been hidden; it got small and grey and dull somewhere. When we let it go to show us what the power of inner strength truly is, when we let it show us how big, glowing, beautiful, and colourful it is. In very interesting way clients describing their inner strength in different images without prompt how if should look like from wild animal, plant, sword, ball of energy, lightning bolt. But vision of unleashed inner strenght is very similar for all of them as huge glowing ball of energy much bigger then they are which would more reflect our understanding of aura. When we hold that image of unleashed inner strenght, then we can reconnect with that, step to it and, and that inner feeling changes and it is posible to monitor it on body language. Body will straight up, head will go up, face would be relaxed and smiling and clients would describe it as warm energetic feelings spreading through their body. And this inner feeling changes immediately and permanently.

After that, our perspective on life changes. In the lives of my clients, it would represent an immediate stop and a significant decrease in unhealthy coping mechanisms like food control or substance abuse. They will report feelings of calmness and peace of mind. Reactions will change to reflect present reality, and they will not have outbursts of anger or feel stuck and silenced, so they will express themselves verbally and in posture. Often, they would report significant increases in motivation, concentration, and focus, as well as feeling energized and in control. And mostly feel safe. Those who previously presented panic attacks and nightmares would report their disappearance immediately or significantly less disturbing with a complete lack of them in several weeks. With the client previously presenting different forms of dissociation, such as amnesia, depersonalisation or deep depression leading to isolation, the change will be even more recognisable as these symptoms are gone.

These very positive results led me to include reconnection with Inner Strength to Trauma Response Reprogramming program, which combines techniques working with the subconscious minds as hypnotherapy, NLP, regression and somatic hypnotherapy with CBT and executive function coaching to help clients change their lives in just a few months.

Barb Smith Varclova
Founder of Recovery Program Trauma Response Recovery
Founder of Educational Program Complex PTSD Blueprint

Trauma Therapist, International Speaker, podcaster, mentor and educator with specialisation in Complex PTSD, PTSD and related coping mechanisms such as Eating Disorders, Addiction, Borderline Personality Disorder, Disassociation and Anxiety.

Training, Qualifications & Experience

She began to study how the mind works thirty years ago as a way to recover from Complex PTSD and completed several training programs, starting with The Silva Method of Mind Control, Acumulator, Principles of Life, NLP, Clinical and Pastoral Counselling, CBT, OneBrain, regression, hypnotherapy, and concluding with Rapid Transformation Therapy. In addition, she studied non-traditional modalities such as Reiki, Tarot, Osho Method, and energy work of crystals, wood and plants available research regarding the physical manifestation of emotional issues, newly known more as Quantum healing.