By Sarah A. Temel, MSEd, LAC
In the sixth (and my favorite) book of the series, The Half Blood Prince, Dumbledore takes Harry on an incredible and terrifying excursion through memories of Tom Riddle, who would one day become the world’s darkest wizard, Lord Voldemort. Through a journey into the pensieve, Dumbledore shows Harry not only Tom the boy, but also glimpses of treacherous family history, marked by neglect, resentment, codependency, and abuse. Tom finds himself in an orphanage, socially isolated, with a penchant for dark mischief, when he meets Dumbledore, the first person to offer him a glimmer of hope and validation.
But what does this have to do with trauma therapy? Well, maybe a lot more than first meets the muggle eye. Night after night, Dumbledore leads Harry on the not-so-pleasant trips down memory lane, all the while without revealing what the true purpose is. Harry, perhaps, thinks the meaning is in the memories, but the truth is, the memories are clues…they are access points to the pain and wounding sites but they aren’t the source of healing themselves.
Shattered Parts and The Healing Process
As it turns out, through unimaginable pain and unspeakable acts, Voldemort has literally shattered his soul in order to protect it. Parts of himself (horcruxes) are kept safe and frozen in time, but at what cost? He becomes a shell of his existence, ruined to save himself.
In Rowling’s series, the only way to eradicate the fear and suffering that is inflicted by Lord V is to destroy those horcruxes. I am grateful to share that trauma therapy differs here from the wizarding world quite immensely. While the memories of our pasts can both haunt us and provide invaluable insight, we do need to do something with the horcruxes. We can’t leave those parts of our selves isolated and locked away from the world (or ourselves) forever, but we don’t need to destroy them to heal. We need to rescue them…
About the Author: Sarah is a New Jersey Licensed Associate Counselor providing counseling for girls, teens, and adults at Mindful Soul Center for Wellbeing. She obtained her Master’s degree in School and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania. She has a particular passion in providing counseling to tween and teen girls, young adult women and college students, and Empaths, or Highly Sensitive People (HSP), of all ages. Sarah also facilitates Brilliant & Resilient, a DBT-Based Skills and Process Group for Teen Girls as well as workshops for parents of adolescents, mindfulness workshops for children and teens, and creative renewal workshops for adults. Contact: Sarah@MindfulSoulWellbeing.com for more information