How to heal trauma without revisiting traumatic events

How to heal trauma without revisiting traumatic events

A revolutionary program is helping women to heal their trauma without needing them to revisit their traumatic events.

The framework, called Creatrix, was developed by Marylin (Maz) Schirmer of Institute of Women International after she recognised a recurring generational pattern of child sexual abuse in her family.

Keen to help others break the cycles she experienced, Schirmer studied numerous personal development modalities including NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), hypnotherapy, and timeline therapy, and coached people to overcome traumatic events.

During her time studying and working with people, Schirmer identified that men were getting remarkable results from the tools that she was using, but women were only getting short-term benefits and often returned after six to 18 months with recurring problems.

That prompted Shirmer to study the female brain specifically, including how women process emotions. She found studies that proved the composition of the female brain has a larger limbic system which means women emotionalise more often than men do.

Schirmer also explored epigenetics, which shows that trauma can be inherited from as far back as 14 generations. This is often why we see repeating cycles of trauma through generations of the same family, for instance.

Creatrix trainer and spokesperson Bree Stedman said this was a key factor in creating a framework specifically designed to help women break free from their trauma.

“Women speak more emotionally, but we also attach emotion to events. And the more we talk about our problems, the deeper the emotional rut we are actually creating. This is why so many female patients of counselling and psychotherapy will say ‘I am sick to death of talking about my problem, because it is not actually helping’.

“That’s why our approach is: let’s not talk about the story, let’s not talk about that instance where you were traumatised. Instead, let’s explore more about how you feel about that. What did that experience make you feel about yourself? What did it make you believe about the world? And then let’s work on those issues, with the process known as Creatrix, which will sever the emotional connection to the events so you can move on without having to relive it.”

Creatrix founder Maz Schirmer.

Creatrix founder Maz Schirmer.

Healing trauma by tackling epigenetics and emotions

Many people feel that they need to unpack ‘why’ they experienced trauma, then they’ll be able to make peace with it and move on.

But Stedman said the ‘why’ doesn’t matter when we take epigenetics into account. Even though a specific event might make someone feel a certain way, the trauma itself is housed within the histones of your DNA and is laying there dormant, waiting to be triggered.

One example could be a woman who continues to attract unhealthy relationships with men. She might get out of the relationship and acknowledge that she doesn’t want to do that again, but because her belief system might be ‘men are rulers and women just have to bow down’, for example, then the next relationship will repeat the same pattern. While she may have learned something from the previous relationship, she is unaware of how to break repeating patterns because it is predisposed in her DNA to accept what is not acceptable.

Instead of revisiting a woman’s traumatic event, the Creatrix framework explores and breaks down the emotions attached to the trauma, and how that emotion plays out as a common connector of multiple issues.

“It’s never just one event that causes the emotion. There might be a stand-out event in a woman’s life, and if that one event causes her to feel angry and worthless, there are going to be countless examples in her life where she is also feeling worthless and angry,” Stedman said.

“And this is the fundamental difference between female and male brains. Males can compartmentalise a lot easier. With women, everything is connected to everything. You can feel angry in one example and you can think about something else that might be a completely different situation, but you can still feed into that same emotion because that emotion is the connecting source.”

Maria McGrath is one example of someone who has managed to disconnect from emotions that were attached to her trauma.

At the age of 18, she was involved in a car accident which triggered her PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and led to developing trust and control issues.

“I (believed) I wasn’t safe. I couldn’t trust people. And then it just compounded. I was adding emotions onto the ones that were already there, which was making this pile of emotions bigger and bigger,” she said.

McGrath underwent traditional therapy for several years, but claims after every counselling session she’d “fall flat after a day or two”.

McGrath undertook the Creatrix program in 2012, and said she noticed an immediate change.

“I wasn’t on the floor crying every day. I wasn’t thinking about dying. (Now) I have more peace and contentment than I’ve ever had. I feel more passionate and purposeful in my life,” she said.

And regarding that traumatic car accident many years ago, McGrath now describes it “like a scene out of a movie” – it’s no longer something that triggers her.

“I do get in the car with others now, I’m more able to be relaxed and I don’t have to be in control,” she said.

Creatrix trainer and spokesperson Bree Stedman

Creatrix trainer and spokesperson Bree Stedman.

Dispelling the myth that it takes time to heal

One of the most impressive outcomes of the Creatrix framework is that women are having complete breakthroughs after only three or four sessions, spread out across six weeks on average – dispelling the myth that it takes months or years to heal from trauma.

“A person can work on an isolated situation and they might find peace with that one situation, but they often come back to you a few weeks later about another situation. That’s a long way to try and heal every bad thing that has happened in someone’s life. What we do is find the common connector (e.g. the emotion) and we work on that and see how that impacts all of the memories,” Stedman said.

“Our facilitators are trained to offer guaranteed outcomes. No other therapist, counsellor or practitioner will guarantee an outcome ever. We do because we know that it’s the connecting emotion to all of the events that is the problem.”

One such example is Jen McPhee, who struggled with depression, loneliness, OCD and suicidal attempts in her teenage years. She spent about 10 years in traditional therapy before finding her breakthrough with Creatrix in 2014.

“I feel when you go to counselling, you sit in your shit the entire time and you talk about ways that might make you feel better. You brainstorm tools that could help. And then you are pushed back out into the world to find your feet on your own, with possible scenarios you’ve played out in your sessions that could potentially have an alternative response or reaction or turn of events.

“With Creatrix, you don’t have to sit in your shit, for starters. It really gets to the root of the problem that you may not even expect is the problem. And then suddenly it’s just not a problem anymore. In the space of such a short time, it’s gone!”

Stedman backs this sentiment, emphasising why Creatrix is so different to traditional therapy, and more effective.

“We don’t need to go into the specifics of the traumatic event, such as who, what, where and why it happened. The ‘why’ doesn’t matter. It’s about getting to the heart of the belief system that allows us to unveil the emotional connection (to the trauma),” she said.

Learn more about Creatrix here.

Sharon Green, editor

Sharon Green


Sharon Green is the founding editor of SHE DEFINED.

An experienced journalist and editor, Sharon has worked in mainstream media in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Forever in search of a publication that confronted the real issues faced by modern women, Sharon decided to create her own.