Elisabeth Corey has a very successful coaching business and blog: Beating Trauma, for survivors of survivors of childhood trauma. She is the survivor of family controlled child sex trafficking, incest and domestic violence that started when she was two years old.
Ms. Corey has an MSW and is a trauma recovery expert, writer, speaker and consultant.
As a survivor she uses her experience to lead other survivors to recovery through guidance sessions and coaching.
Ms. Corey is one of the bravest people I have ever met. She is unafraid to tell the truth about child abuse and her own personal experiences. She lets us know that there is hope and healing after trauma. Elisabeth Corey is a crusader in bringing healing to everyone in plain language, demystifying false beliefs and her generous mentoring.
This short interview is a window into her work and elaborate understanding of trauma in all forms.
Welcome Elisabeth Corey
Can you tell us how you came to do this work?
I came to do this work through my own extensive healing journey. I was not satisfied with the slow pace of traditional therapy and started to take matters in to my own hands. I used many different modalities to heal myself which included body work, spiritual practices like meditation and memory recovery. During my work, I started to understand that I had inner parts that held aspects of my trauma. This concept made so much sense and began to accelerate my own healing. When I decided to start a blog, I was writing for my own recovery. But very quickly, I started to receive messages from other survivors who had similar experiences to me. I realized I needed to build a community with a focus on healing our inner parts. Over time, and trial and error, the work grew to what it is today.
What tools do you have to aid in recovery from trauma?
My focus in on the concept of inner parts, I help my clients to find their inner parts through building awareness and writing from the unconscious aspects of self. I have developed tools that guide my clients through journaling in this way. The increased awareness brings them more self-understanding, which facilitates the healing process.
How do you know you have been a victim?
That’s a great question. Many times, the memories of severe trauma are not available to the conscious mind. But I receive many messages from people questioning what they might have experienced. They may struggle with anxiety or depression. They may have physical symptoms like fibromyalgia or other forms of chronic pain. They may sense they are not safe with certain family members. Or they may have long periods of childhood with no memories. These are all signs of trauma.
How did you meet Eric Holder a former Attorney General about trafficking?
I consult with several federal government agencies as a survivor expert on trauma and trafficking. The opportunity to speak before Eric Holder and the Department of Justice was offered to me by those I had consulted with in the past. It was an amazing experience to be able to present my story to that prestigious audience on that day.
You have masters in social work, why did you choose to be a coach instead of a therapist?
I didn’t want to be restricted in my approach. I base my work with clients on my own healing process. My experiences deeply inform my work. This means I am personally familiar with the healing steps and what happens when we take them. My approach doesn’t perfectly fit in to any model used by clinicians today. That said, it does have many similarities to Internal Family Systems which I am grateful to see gaining popularity in clinical circles. In addition, clinical approaches tend to use labels for trauma responses, creating separation. My approach focuses on how our trauma can bring us together. I use my own stories of trauma and recovery to reduce the isolation and shame my clients often feel. This sharing, which is generally not accepted in the clinical world, is the basis for my work and fuels much of the success.
I often work with clients who are also working with therapists. Clients have found it very beneficial. I can help to uncover new aspects of the trauma through awareness building, informing therapy sessions in new ways. I refer to it as an acceleration program.
How did you find IFS therapy?
I never found it. I discovered my inner parts on my own as a part of my own healing journey. I had no idea there was a therapy in existence that did the same work. I did not know about IFS until I was blogging. One of my readers let me know my writing sounded like IFS, so I researched it at that point.
Can you explain how trauma is trapped in the body?
I am not a scientific expert on trauma and the body. But trauma that cannot be processed when we are children (most of it) cannot be stored as a normal memory in our minds. When memories and/or their emotions are repressed, they are stored in the body to be processed later. Until we do this, the memories remain in a state of limbo and affect our daily lives through triggers along with a host of body symptoms. When we are able to process them, the visceral response in the body dissipates and the memory is stored like other non-traumatic memories.
What is your mission with this work?
I want to change the world. I know that sounds like a lot, but it is easy with this work. Every time someone heals, they make different choices. They in turn help to heal others. They raise their children differently. They start speaking out against their trauma. They explore who they were meant to be. Their voice is heard. And that changes the world.
What can we all do to raise awareness of child abuse and trauma?
As I said above, the most important thing we can do is heal our trauma. We all have it on some level. When we heal our trauma, we become more aware of what is happening around us. We can spot child abuse more quickly and we can speak out about it.
Do you have any speaking engagements planned?
I usually speak 2 -3 times per month in locations around the United States. I can be hired directly or through several government agencies including the Office for Victims of Crimes and the Office of Trafficking in Persons.
It is my hope for everyone reading this that you found it helpful for yourself or someone else. For more information you can contact Elisabeth Corey on her Facebook page: Beating Trauma with Elisabeth Corey or blog: Beating Trauma.com.