WHAT IS TRAUMA?
There are many different types of trauma and what one person may find traumatic may not seem at all traumatic to someone else.
Some people experience one horrific event (eg. car accident, terrorist attack, suicide of friend or family member) and become traumatised.
Others will experience repeated and systematic smaller events (eg. name calling, bullying, control, abuse) and suffer from trauma as a result of this. This type of trauma is also referred to as Complex Trauma.
Trauma can result in the person suffering from conditions such as Dissociation and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, including symptoms such as Flashbacks, Nightmares, Sleep Disorders to name a few. If left untreated, these conditions can have a crippling effect of the individual and can affect their whole life and the lives of those around them.
There are many different therapies available for someone suffering with trauma and I may need to refer the sufferer on to another type of therapy, eg EMDR or Trauma-Focused CBT, depending on the severity of their symptoms.
HOW CAN COUNSELLING HELP WITH TRAUMA?
When working with someone suffering from trauma my first priority is to ensure that the work we do together does not re-traumatise the sufferer.
To do this I will ensure that I spend time building the relationship between us before encouraging exploration of the trauma. I ensure that they are aware of ways in which to bring themselves back to the present time should their feelings become too painful to explore (grounding techniques / anchors).
When working with the trauma itself I will start by encouraging the individual to explore the affect the trauma is having on their current life and what they can do to keep themselves safe.
Once the person is comfortable looking at the impact of the trauma on their life I will gradually start to encourage them to explore how they feel about the traumatic event itself.