Dealing with Family Trauma Around the Holidays

Dealing with Family Trauma Around the Holidays

The holidays are often a complex time for many people. On the one hand, there is a sense of joy in the air, while on the other hand, sorrow and grief because of either a loss or dysfunctional family dynamic.

The following are some ways you can deal with family trauma around the holidays.

Have an Escape Plan

It’s important to not isolate over the holidays. Being around loved ones who support and care for you can be a comfort. Having said that, you’ll also want to have a plan that will allow you to get away from crowds and holiday festivities when you feel yourself become triggered or emotional. This may mean you drive separately to an event so you can leave when YOU want and need. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and stick to them.

Feel Your Feelings

The holidays mean everyone is supposed to ‘put on a good face’ and act merry and jolly, right? No. It’s important to really feel your feelings, not ignore them or pretend they don’t exist. We can only heal from trauma by facing the full extent of our darkness. If you had plans to spend time with loved ones but suddenly feel angry, overwhelmed, anxious or depressed, do not deny these feelings and try to put on a good face so others have a good time. It’s better to gracefully bow out of the plans and be 100% genuine with your feelings.

Make Self-Care a Priority

When we relive our trauma and deal with big emotions, it’s easy to let self-care slip and eat poorly, drink too much and get far too little sleep. Dealing with trauma takes energy and mental clarity, and that will require you to treat your heart, mind, AND body with gentleness and care.

You may also want to speak with someone during this time. A therapist can help you navigate your feelings and offer coping strategies. If you’d like to explore treatment options, please feel free to call our office.

Trauma Therapy Therapy in Florida

If you’d like to schedule an appointment or get any of your questions answered, please call our office at 954-378-5381  and 561-223-1066 or send us an email at

Lizzette Mambru is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist currently working with adults that want to address various issues such as trauma, mood disorders, and behavioral/emotional issues. She believes in client-centered and eclectic techniques as the best approach to address the client’s needs. She uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Solution Focused techniques, and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).

Lizzette received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Florida State University and earned her Master’s Degree in Family Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She has clinical experience working in a drug rehabilitation treatment center serving individual, group, couple, and family counseling. She has experience working with women’s issues including perinatal mental health, infant mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual/physical abuse, grief/loss, mood disorders, anger issues, anxiety, family issues, adjustment issues, etc.



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