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Dolores: Taking risks 

From: Chapter 14, Trauma Work with Latin American Women in Canada, in Working With Immigrant Women: Issues and Strategies for Mental Health Professionals (© CAMH 2008)

As the sessions progressed, Dolores became less fearful and began to risk new experiences. Often clients see themselves as cowardly for having taken so long to get to this point. This is when it is helpful to introduce the concept of heroism by noting the saying “Heroism is not about going into battle without fear, but about going into battle despite fear.” In the case of therapy, heroism is about recognizing and facing the illusion of apparent mortal danger presented by the memories, and realizing that they are not a real threat to life. While it is difficult to rapidly change an emotion, a decision to act, despite the emotion, is always possible. The outcome of this risk is emotional growth.

Dolores tried several things over the course of therapy:

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