Ariana Grande & Trauma

Interview: Dr. Colleen Cira, Psy.D. on Ariana Grande and trauma.

Dr. Colleen Cira is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in Women and Trauma, so I’ve worked with hundreds of people trying to cope with traumatic experiences. Here are some of her talking points on celebrity Ariana Grande’s recent response to some traumatic events that she has experienced over the last couple of years.

Ariana Grande has been coping with a multitude of difficult experiences, primarily performing at a venue where a suicide bomber killed 22 people in addition to the death of her ex-boyfriend and the break-up of her engagement. There are a few things that she’s doing that are really helpful and adaptive:

1. Talking about it. Ariana seems to be frequently asked about all of these painful experiences and it seems that at least some of the time, she is actually answering these questions. When you experience a trauma, our instinct is to avoid it, which makes sense! Humans have survived and evolved as a species because we learned to stay away from things that bring us pain. And when that comes to fire, that’s a great thing! But when that comes to emotional pain, avoiding it is just about the worst thing we can do. Fighting to get rid of your emotions is kinda like being in quicksand: the harder you fight, the deeper you sink. So the fact that she’s talking about her experiences, even though that’s a difficult thing to do, is incredibly adaptive.

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