Many of us may have experienced a traumatic event at some point in our lives, such as a car accident, sudden loss of a loved one, or been the victim of an assault. For some of us we may have unfortunately experienced a number of traumatic events, often during childhood. This could include some form of abuse (emotional, physical, psychological or sexual) or neglect. Although a lot of people recover from such events, for many the effects of traumatic events can have a long lasting and detrimental impact.
Trauma refers to an overwhelming level of stress created through particularly distressing, challenging, or painful experiences. When these experiences exceed our ability to manage or cope then unresolved trauma can occur. This trauma is usually held and manifested in the body and can impact our sense of self, our relationships, and our work.
Because of the painful nature of trauma, and the need for us to cope, memories can remain relatively hidden. Then, often years later, something can happen that reminds us of our past experiences and we can start to feel increasingly overwhelmed, anxious, confused or numb.
Symptoms of trauma
If you have experienced traumatic events or think you have unresolved trauma then it is likely you will experience some of the following symptoms:
I offer an integrated approach when working with trauma which is underpinned by gestalt therapy, neuroscience, sensorimotor theory, and mindfulness. Having completed a post graduate diploma in Contemporary Trauma Practices I have specialist knowledge and skills in helping people address unresolved trauma.
As a trauma therapist, my overall goal is to help you gain control over, and reduce, disturbing symptoms. I can help you to re-establish a healthy relationship with yourself and start to become more connected with your life.
During the early stages of trauma therapy I can support you to cultivate a sense of safety and stability. I will also help you to develop strategies and to build on wider resources of support. You will learn how to regulate your emotions and manage unhelpful and distressing symptoms. I can also assist you in developing and strengthening skills for managing difficult memories, and gradually help you make sense of what happened.
We will also address the common issues such as powerlessness, shame, guilt, and distrust that tend to be present when we have unresolved trauma.
It is important to state that trauma therapy, especially in the early phase, is not about discussing or bringing to surface disturbing memories as this can be re-traumatising. The most important focus of the therapy is to help you to establish a solid foundation of safety, stability and self-regulation so that you can start to live a more fulfilling life.