Trauma Therapy |
Tri-Phasic Trauma Therapy
Trauma recovery is put into these clearly defined three stages which are Safety and Stabilization, Trauma Memory Processing and Reconnection.
Safety and Stabilization
The most important aspect of recovery is safety. Individuals who have been exposed to severe trauma are betrayed both by their experiences as well as their own bodies and their symptoms become the source of triggers that result in re-traumatization. The therapist,s primary goal is to help the client regain internal and external control which is accomplished through careful diagnosis, education and skills development. In cases where the client remains in an unsafe environment, plans to establish personal and practical safety remain the focus of treatment prior to beginning any trauma memory processing work. The overriding goal is to enable the client to make a gradual shift from "unpredictable danger to reliable safety" both in their environment and within themselves. Accomplishing this goal depends on the circumstances as well as their internal ability to cope with exposure to trauma memories and may take days, weeks, or months to achieve.
Trauma Memory Processing
In the second phase of recovery the client begins to work more deeply with exercises to work through their trauma history, bringing unbearable memories to greater resolution. Because of the nature of traumatic memories, this process can be quite disjointed as pieces of the traumatic events emerge and can be processed. The goal here is to create a space in which the client can safely work through traumatic events and begin to make sense of the devastating experiences that have shaped his or her life. The counsellors role is to "bear witness" to the client's experiences, and help her or him find the strengh and motivation to heal.
The final stage of recovery involves redefining oneself in the context of meaningful relationships and engagement in life activities. Trauma survivors can gain closure on their experiences when they are able to see the things that happened to them and conclude that these events do not determine who they are. Trauma survivors are bolstered by the knowledge that, regardless of what else happens to them, they always have themselves. Many survivors are also sustained by an abiding faith in a higher power that they believe delivered them from oppressive terror. In many instances survivors find a "mission" through which they can continue to heal and grow. They may even end up helping others with similar histories of trauma or traumas.
It is normal to have stress reactions after a traumatic event. Your
emotions and behaviour can change in ways that are troubling to you.
Fear or anxiety
In moments of danger, our bodies prepare to fight our enemy, flee
the situation, or freeze in the hope that the danger will move past
us. But those feelings of alertness may stay even after the danger
You may: feel tense or afraid, be agitated and jumpy, feel on alert.
Sadness or depression
Sadness after a trauma may come from a sense of loss---of a loved
one, of trust in the world, faith, or a previous way of life.
You may: have crying spells, lose interest in things you used to enjoy, want to be alone all the time and/or feel tired, empty, and numb.
Guilt and shame
You may feel guilty that you did not do more to prevent the trauma.
You may feel ashamed because during the trauma you acted in ways
that you would not otherwise have done. You may: feel responsible for what happened and feel guilty because others were injured or killed and you
Anger and irritability
Anger may result from feeling you have been unfairly treated.
Anger can make you feel irritated and cause you to be easily set
You may: lash out at your partner or spouse, have less patience with your children or overreact to small misunderstandings.
You may act in unhealthy ways. You may: drink, use drugs, or smoke too much, drive aggressively, neglect your health and/or avoid certain people or situations
Most people will have some of these
reactions at first, but they will get better
at some time. If symptoms last longer
than three months, cause you great
distress, or disrupt your work or home life,
you should seek help.
Symptoms of PTSD
Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing)
Memories of the trauma can come back at any time.
You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the
event took place and may have nightmares or feel like
you’re going through it again which is called a flashback.
Sometimes there is a trigger—a sound or sight that causes
you to relive the event or seeing someone who reminds you of the trauma may
bring back memories of the event. You may think about the trauma at work or school
when you need to concentrate on something else.
Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger
memories of the traumatic event and may even avoid
talking or thinking about the event. You may avoid crowds, because they feel dangerous. If you were in a car accident or if your military convoy
was bombed, you may avoid driving. Some people may keep very busy or avoid seeking
help which keeps them from having to think or talk
about the event.
Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
The way you think about yourself and others changes
because of the trauma. This symptom has many aspects, for instance you may not have positive or loving feelings toward
other people and may stay away from relationships. You may forget about parts of the traumatic event or
not be able to talk about them and/or you may think the world is completely dangerous, and
no one can be trusted.
Feeling keyed up (also called hyper arousal)
You may be jittery, or always on the alert and on the
lookout for danger. You might suddenly become angry or
irritable which is known as hyper-arousal. You may want to have your back to a wall in a
restaurant or waiting room, loud noise can startle you easily. If someone bumps into you, you might fly into a rage.
Please bear in mind that although I specialise in emotional trauma and PTSD the symptoms resulting from this can include anger, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, sleep disruption, substance abuse, and self-esteem.
"With twenty years of clinical expertise in mental health Simon practises as a trauma therapist in Egham, Hounslow, Heathrow Airport, Staines, Ashford in Middlesex, Stanwell, Laleham, Bedfont, Feltham, Windsor, Wentworth, Virginia Water, Englefield Green, Wraysbury, Thorpe Park, Woking, Colnbrook, Chertsey, Sunbury, Ascot, Eton, Addlestone, Richmond upon Thames, Twickenham, Slough, Shepperton, Datchet, Winkfield, Cranbourne, Whitely Village, Windlesham, Hampton, Hanworth, Hythe End, Clewer, Southall, Isleworth, West Molesy, Esher, Wexham Court, Richings Park, Cranford, Harlington, Harmondsworth, Bray and surrounding areas." | |