Trauma is an episode of acute emotional distress, usually as a result of a specific, identifiable event.
This could have been an accident, an assault, a natural disaster, or any sudden, and serious, emotionally distressing event.
The event itself is usually unexpected, shocking, and takes us by surprise.
Often it will run contrary to our pre-existing beliefs, or model of how the world works.
- Feeling of living life ‘through a lens’ – emotional withdrawal
- Anxiety and/or panic attacks, in some cases severe, especially in response to certain stimuli
- Nightmares or night terrors
- Feelings of insecurity or impending danger
If you recognise the above symptoms following an acute episode of emotional distress, you may be suffering from trauma.
Holding down unresolved trauma can withhold a tremendous amount of mental energy from the rest of life, resulting in feeling emotionally exhausted, with little insight or reasons why.
PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is an ongoing state of any of the above symptoms, following an identifiable trauma.
However, PTSD can be usually diagnosed only by a qualified Psychologist or Psychiatrist (at least in the UK), and can be so severe that symptoms, if triggered, are extremely debilitating, and distressing.
As such, PTSD therapy should be undertaken only by those with experience of handling the extreme sensitivity of such issues, and by those who are appropriately qualified.
Counsellors talk a lot about resolving trauma, it’s importance, and helping people move toward forgiveness, as a priority.
But what does it mean, to overcome a traumatic experience or PTSD? What does it entail?
Overcoming trauma usually does mean finding forgiveness, but forgiveness for *your* benefit, not the perpetrator, or the situation.
No-one will ask you to forgive another for a wrong doing, unless you are ready to.
Certainly, this event happened, in the outside world. There were consequences.
But our hope is that, independent of the consequences in the outside world, through counselling, you’re able to find enough peace within the situation, for yourself.
Such that, life can continue, without undue stress, without unnecessary anxiety, and at your own pace.
This is living *through* a trauma, and not *around* it.
Our counsellors can help you process a traumatic event in life, at a rate, and in a way, that’s comfortable for you (if you wish).
Even considering emotional work on such events can be traumatic in itself, such is the energy that these experiences are holding down, in our lives.
In some cases, depending on specifics, the trauma work is centered around the symptoms of the trauma, and not the trauma itself.
We can work flexibly with you, depending on your circumstances.
- Achieve greater understanding on the reasons the trauma may have happened
- Find appropriate meaning in the event, that serves you, and your mental health
- Take away tools and techniques to help you work through any residual symptoms you’re experiencing, like mindfulness, or specific breathing techniques.
Regardless of the specifics, our goal in trauma counselling is first and foremost, your safety, and comfort, in working through, whatever comes up.
Our counsellors adhere to the BACP code of ethics and practice.