Have you ever experienced something traumatic in your past? Do you have coping skills in place or do you have coping mechanisms that you want to change? How do you heal and release trauma?

I am very excited to have Kelly Smyth-Dent on the podcast. On this podcast episode, Kelley and I talk all about how to heal from trauma, coping mechanisms, and also how to support people who are healing from trauma.

Meet Kelly Smyth-Dent

How to Heal from Trauma with Kelly Smyth-Dent | EU 140

Kelly is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and the CEO of Scaling Up. She has conducted trainings online and all throughout the United States and the world. Kelly offers EMDR intensives to clients to help them reprocess their trauma and reduce their symptoms faster. When Kelly is not traveling, she sees clients in her private practice in Reno, Nevada.

Connect with her on her website and on Facebook. For the EMDR directory, head over here.

In This Podcast


  • Trauma leads to coping mechanisms
  • EMDR for healing
  • Invest in yourself (and your kids!)
  • How to support people in healing their trauma

Trauma leads to coping mechanisms

Negative experiences, both from “little-T” traumas and bigger traumas, lead to the development of coping skills.

Over time, people can carry them around, because we’re resilient and strong people but over time it gets heavier and full and you develop coping strategies to carry them around. (Kelly Smyth-Dent)

People are adaptable, and because change – even for the better – can be scarier because it is the “unknown”, people can sometimes fall into the trap of simply carrying their trauma around because it is “known”, even if it is painful.

The longer you carry trauma and don’t heal it, the more likely you are to develop coping strategies that enable you to live with the trauma instead of helping you to heal or release it.

Some coping mechanisms include:

  • Using drugs or alcohol to relax or unwind at the end of the day
  • Cutting or self-harm
  • Engaging in eating disorders in an attempt to control reality or perception

The more rocks and trauma in that backpack, the more coping strategies you need to cope with them. (Kelly Smyth-Dent)

EMDR for healing

Your mindset and belief system are big components of healing.

Something traumatic may happen to you, but the way you perceive it and if it relates to you will make a secondary impact.

EMDR can shift those belief systems internally and release them and it can also degrade aspects of memories that are disturbing to you. (Kelly Smyth-Dent)

Once you begin to heal and release those traumas from your “backpack”, your coping mechanisms will shift, because you don’t need to cope anymore!

So instead of trying to heal the coping mechanism, aim to heal the root cause and the coping mechanism will be released as well.

Invest in yourself (and your kids!)

Therapy and mental wellness are treated as optional benefits, but they should be an integral part of your self-care and development as a person.

It is a space that you can enter into to heal and release old traumas that hold you back, or limiting beliefs that keep you stuck, and create the life that you truly want – and know you can! – live.

What’s the harm in trying it? What if it really does help you the way that the research shows that it will? (Kelly Smyth-Dent)

For kids, parents want to believe that they are fine, or that they will grow out of coping strategies that they are using as teenagers. Even though it’s tough, you need to be brave and upfront about centering mental health as fundamental in your family, for everyone.

How to support people in healing their trauma

  • Validate their experience
  • Helping them to find a good therapist
  • Being there for them

1 – Validate their experience:

  • Even if you do not share the same experience, empathize
  • Just listen, don’t try to solve the problem
  • If you can, provide a non-judgmental space

2 – Help them to find a good therapist:

  • Offer to help them find a therapist that has specialized in what they need help with
  • Offer to drive them to and from therapy if they are not able to

3 – Be there for them:

  • Help them clean their home or get groceries
  • Offer to help around the house or look after their kids if they need some time alone

Useful links:


Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic PodcastI’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.

So I started  Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook communityjoin the VIP community, or attend our annual retreat,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Empowered and Unapologetic Podcast on Apple Podcasts (previously iTunes) and subscribe!