MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Wednesday’s events prove many people who live in the same country view things very differently.

The images from the assault on the U.S. Capitol are unforgettable: they are hard to see and painful to process.

“It is traumatic to watch, it’s physically traumatic, it’s emotionally traumatic,” said Shani Tran, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. “As a person of color, a Black woman living in America, I thought: where are the smoke bombs and the bullets.”

Tran’s trying to process the events herself. As a therapist she’s helping others process too.

“The biggest takeaway here is to take care of yourself. Identify what you are feeling,” Tran said.

And she says, as hard as it is to turn away, it’s important to do just that.

“You might have to turn off the TV, you might have to stop scrolling social media because, it’s only increasing that anxiety feeling, that irrationality, it’s feeding it. So we want to take a minute to disconnect so we can regulate ourselves,” she said.

Then she says you can start healing the divide by having conversation with those close to you who see the events far differently.

“How will we understand each other if we continue to avoid the conversation? But I also think that it’s important to have those conversations when you’re not in the heat of your emotions,” she said.

Tran says when discussing events so sensitive, every word counts. She recommends using “I” statements like “I feel this way,” or “I saw it this way,” instead of “you don’t see it this way.”

She say to have a realistic expectation during the conversations.

“When you are having these conversations and the intention is to change their minds, you are already going into a losing fight,” she said.

Instead, the goal should be understanding a different perspective calmly in the most chaotic of times.

Tran says it’s best to set ground rules when debating with friends or family, even setting a timer so each person can talk, uninterrupted. She also says it’s always a good idea to reach out to mental health provider.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield