Perhaps the diagnosis of an illness, the death of a loved one, divorce, redundancy, childhood abuse, rape, anxiety, and depression have drastically changed your life. These and more destructive events may have shattered your sense of safety and security in the world. Your experiences may have heightened your senses, created a lack of trust in those around you and in your world. Or, perhaps you survive by distancing yourself from events or your environment.
As a result, these are some of the symptoms you might be experiencing:
Powerful emotions and reactions: Traumatic events bring with them intense feelings of sadness, anger, fear, pain, shame, terror, horror, grief, rage and shock. Have you experienced some of these? Are you jumpy and seek or look for danger? Perhaps you struggle to sleep or relax?
Numbness: Traumatic events have left you feeling overwhelmed. Shock can be the first line of defence, followed by denial and disbelief. Perhaps the only way you could survive the situation, was to emotionally remove yourself from your environment, by distancing yourself. Are you cutting yourself off from those around you, your surroundings, do you feel as if you are only just functioning, going through the motions?
Flashbacks: These are memories of the past but can feel as if they are taking place right now, or over and over again. The flashbacks may contain the use of your senses, such as images, sounds, smells or bodily sensations. It can feel as if the flashbacks come from nowhere, making it difficult for you to separate between the past and the present.
Nightmares: These are similar to flashbacks but happen in your sleep. Due to this, you may fear going to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night distressed.
Triggers: A trigger is a reminder of a past trauma.
Triggers can be:
- Internal triggers, sensory or/and thoughts, feelings inside your body.
- External triggers are events that happen in your environment.
- Anniversary of the event.
- Something that makes you feel panicky, anxious or withdrawn.
Reactions to Trauma:
- Being constantly alert
- Re- experiencing the trauma
- Feeling numb
- Avoiding reminders of the trauma
- Panic attacks
- Physical symptoms
- Lack of trust in others or/and the world
- Struggling to function day to day life
- Dependency on substances
- Eating problems
- Self harm
- Relationship problems
- Blaming yourself
- Suicidal thoughts
- Poor sleep
- Intimate relationships difficulties
- Physical ill-health
- Integrative approach.
- Underpinned by person centred qualities.
- Tailor therapeutic interventions to what the specific needs are.
- Undertaken with compassion, care, dignity and acceptance of you the client and your situation, without any judgements.
Benefits of Trauma Counselling
- To be heard and understood.
- To feel safe emotionally and physically.
- To learn how to manage big feelings and sensations effectively.
- To understand how trauma has impacted on your emotional brain and nervous system.
- To reduce shame and improve self worth.
- To feel empowered and to flourish.
- To like yourself and your life.
Trauma RecoveryStep 1: Safety
Aim is: Safety, Self Care and Management of Emotional/Behavioural Needs
- The re-establishing of safety is the first and most central step in recovery.
- Simple and easy to understand knowledge will be learnt to help you to understand what has happened to your emotional brain and nervous system.
- Easy to use tools will be shared to help you soothe and calm your body.
- Safety is sustained in all aspects of your life.
- Re-establish healthy functioning in your day to day life.
- Re engagement and trust established with others.
- A healthy range of coping skills are gained and incorporated in your life.
Step 2: Processing
We only move onto this step when you feel safe, grounded and more stable in day to day life.
Aim: Work through and integrate traumatic memories
- This step involves the important task of exploring and mourning any losses associated with your trauma and providing space for you to grieve and express your emotions.
- Being able to fully manage and control your feelings and thoughts.
- Directing your attention to the trauma when you want to and avoiding it when you feel it appropriate to do so, e.g whilst at work.
- Over time the trauma loses its power and becomes part of your narrative history.
Aim: Embracing Life and Moving on
As this step is reached, a gradual building of bridges will have been taking place in sessions.
- The third and final stage of trauma recovery focuses on your reinvention of yourself and establishment of a bright, hopeful future.
- By this stage, the trauma no longer has power over or defines your life.
- Trauma, after all, is only part of a much larger picture; it may be part of your life story but it’s certainly not the only part.
- By the end of step three, you will be able to recognise the impact of the trauma and are now ready to leave it in the past, in the pursuit of empowerment and living in the present.
Do you want to exist or live?
Do you want to feel safe and back in control?
Do you want to put your feet firmly back on the ground?
Do you want to shake off the past and step fully into the present.
We can do this together by creating a safe link bridge from the past to present.
Re-connecting, Re-establishing, Re-storing you to a better today.
Reach out, contact me and once again, flourish in your life.
You deserve this!!