Trauma is the combined emotional, physical and mental response that arises when a person is exposed to a threatening experience that involves danger and/ or high levels of stress. This can be the result of a single event or a build-up of multiple events over a period of time.
The effects of trauma can still be experienced long after the danger has passed, whether that is days, months or even years later. Some of the ways in which this trauma can present itself may include:
- Flashbacks – experiencing the trauma as if it is happening in the here and now
- High levels of fear or anxiety – constantly feeling on edge
- Avoiding places that the trauma has occurred or situations that remind you of the experience
- Feelings of numbness – disconnected from yourself and not fully present in life.
- Unexplainable physical symptoms
- Feelings of blame, shame or guilt
- Night terrors/ difficulty sleeping
The experience of trauma is so distressing it can make functioning in day to day life near impossible. It is not unusual that after such an event survivors develop their own ways of coping, in the hope that it will help ease their symptoms. At times when everything just feels too much, a survivor may begin self-harming, taking drugs, drinking to excess as well as other risky behaviours as a way of escape.
How can counselling help?
Often when survivors come to counselling it can be the first time that they have spoken to someone else about what has happened to them. The unique relationship in place with the counsellor means that they are able to do so safely and freely, in a place without judgement, while being heard.
Each and every experience of trauma is different and so there is no ‘one shoe fits all’ approach.
If you feel I am the right counsellor for you, please give me a call to further discuss how I can help .