4.

Trauma Therapy

"Trauma is a fact of life. It does not, however, have to be a life sentence" 

Peter Levine

 

 

I have received specific training in working with Trauma including:

  • Trauma and Recovery Therapy Introductory Certificate

  • Trauma: Somatisation and Dissociation

  • Relational Trauma and working with Disorganised Attachment

  • International Association for Rewind Trauma Training (IARTT) Certificate to practice Rewind Trauma Therapy

In order to enhance my professional development I am also currently studying towards gaining a Diploma in Trauma Therapy through the NAOS Institute in London to enhance my knowledge, skills and understanding.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is a an individuals subjective response to a distressing, frightening or distressing event or series of events. Emotional or psychological trauma can have short-term or long-term effects on our emotional development in addition to affecting our physical bodies.

Trauma is completely personal and no two people experience the same response to something frightening or distressing.  Some ways trauma can leave us feeling are:

  • Frightened

  • Powerless

  • Rejected

  • Abandoned

  • Humiliated

  • Unsafe

  • Ashamed

  • Alone

What can trigger a Trauma response?

Trauma can take many different forms, some examples of what can trigger a trauma response are (not in any particular order):

  • Childhood sexual abuse (CSA)

  • Neglect 

  • Domestic/sexual abuse

  • Terrorism

  • Experiencing/witnessing a frightening event e.g. car accident

  • Serious illness

  • War environment

  • Experience within criminal justice system e.g. Prison

  • Loss e.g. death, divorce

  • Natural disasters

How can Trauma affect someone?

Our bodies can respond to trauma in many ways, many of which are very common responses such as shock, disbelief, numbness and feeling detached.  These are ways in which our bodies attempt to protect us from experiencing overwhelm.  After this, people often begin to experience other symptoms such as:

  • Repeated memories/nightmares/flashbacks of the event

  • Intense fear/anxiety that the event could reoccur

  • Withdrawl/isolation

  • Major/dramatic mood shifts

  • Anger

  • Denial

  • Depression

  • Affected sleep routine

  • Physical symptoms of stress e.g. headaches

  • Exacerbation of pre-existing medical conditions

How do I work with Trauma?

How I work with someone who has been affected by Trauma will vary from person to person.  Initial work will usually involve grounding and stabilising to ensure the client feels safe.  This can involve breathing techniques and various other sensory/body work.  Time spent resourcing also forms part of this process to identify both external and internal support systems.  A client is not expected or encouraged to describe the traumatic event, especially in the early stages of working due to the risk of re-traumatisation and destabilisation.  Processing traumatic memories can take many different forms.  I work creatively in addition to the regular 'talking therapy' and use sand tray therapy, arts/crafts and metaphors to enable processing to be a safe as possible. There is then a period of integration: applying knowledge and experience gained from previous resourcing and processing to enable the client to live their life more fully in the present and be able to manage themselves with a greater level of self-awareness. This whole process is not linear and time spent in each stage varies from days to months or even years.  I work in a way which facilitates compassion and kindness and gently encourage people to begin to trust their inner guidance and wisdom to lead them to make choices which are in their highest interests.