Can Therapy Help Overcome Denial in Trauma?


    Denial is a common response to trauma, serving as a protective mechanism that shields us from the immediate shock of the event. However, when denial persists, it can hinder the healing process and lead to long-term psychological issues. This blog post explores the role of therapy in overcoming denial in trauma, highlighting its benefits, limitations, and the complementary role of coaching.

    Understanding Trauma and Denial

    Trauma refers to a deeply distressing or disturbing experience that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope. Denial, on the other hand, is a psychological defense mechanism where a person refuses to accept reality or facts, acting as if a painful event, thought, or feeling did not exist. It is often used to manage the overwhelming emotions associated with trauma.

    The Role of Therapy in Trauma Recovery

    Therapy offers a safe space for individuals to explore their feelings and thoughts about the traumatic event. Therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, and exposure therapy can be particularly effective. These therapies can help individuals process their trauma, develop coping strategies, and ultimately, overcome denial.

    The Process of Therapy in Overcoming Denial

    The therapeutic process often begins with building a trusting relationship between the therapist and the client. The therapist then guides the client through the process of acknowledging the trauma, understanding its impact, and working towards acceptance. This journey is often challenging but is a crucial step towards healing.

    The Benefits of Therapy in Overcoming Denial

    Overcoming denial through therapy can lead to numerous emotional, psychological, and social benefits. It can help individuals process their emotions, reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and improve their relationships with others.

    The Limitations of Therapy in Overcoming Denial

    While therapy can be incredibly beneficial, it is important to understand that it is not a quick fix. Overcoming denial is a complex process that requires time, patience, and persistence. There may also be challenges along the way, such as resistance to change or fear of confronting the trauma.

    The Role of Coaching in Overcoming Denial in Trauma

    Coaching can be a valuable addition to therapy in the journey to overcome denial. While therapy often focuses on healing past wounds, coaching is future-oriented and can provide individuals with the tools and strategies they need to move forward. Coaching can help individuals set realistic goals, develop resilience, and build a positive outlook on life.


    Overcoming denial in trauma is a challenging but necessary step towards healing. Therapy, complemented by coaching, can provide the support, tools, and strategies needed to navigate this journey. While the path may be difficult, the destination – a life free from the shackles of denial – is undoubtedly worth the effort.

    This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as psychological advice.


    Siobhán Cahalan is the driving force behind Wisdom and Vision Ltd., blending over two decades of global executive experience with profound spiritual insights to redefine leadership coaching. As an accredited coach and visionary, Siobhán empowers individuals and organizations to lead with integrity, purpose, and deep personal awareness. Connect with Siobhán to embark on your transformative journey towards authentic success and holistic growth. Contact for coaching inquiries.