Trauma

Am I Suffering from Trauma?

If you’ve got this far reading my pages you will have an understanding that we are all carrying the effects of trauma. We’ve all had to give up parts of ourselves to adapt to the ‘People in Charge’ and the level of overwhelming stress or trauma felt by each of us was dependent on our early cultures that we had to belong to and our resilience.

The level of trauma is clearly different for each of us and their shadows effect our adult functioning differently.

All of us have demons and struggle not to be overwhelmed by them. By understanding our demons, they become bad memories that we have left behind, otherwise they can get the better of us and swamp us in difficulties.

Many of us suppress and hide our feelings and negative thoughts because we don’t want to burden others or think that they will hurt or reject us.

Post Traumatic Stress or Post traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD) can develop from a single life threatening event like being involved in a car crash, hearing of or witnessing the violent death/injury of a close family member, friend or colleague. Or can arise from the impact on you of childhood neglect or abuse emotionally, physically or sexually.

Trauma can be felt in one or many of the following ways:

  • Extreme anxiety, Panic, Hyperactivity, Jumpy, Can’t relax, Restlessness
  • Emotional flooding, Pain, Insomnia
  • Hostility and Rage
  • Digestive problems
  • Flashbacks and Nightmares
  • Depression, Flatness, Lethargy, Deadness, Numbness
  • Exhaustion, Chronic fatigue
  • Disorientation, Disconnection, Dissociation

Not everyone develops Post Traumatic Stress; indeed many people don’t and recover to ‘normal’ functioning within 3 to 6 months.

People suffering from ‘Post Traumatic Stress’ or ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’ do not recognise that the trauma is over, in the past, and that they have survived. They will feel stuck in an anxious and /or depressed place unable to gain a sense of peace or well-being. They will often feel like they are actually re-living the terror of their trauma through flashbacks, nightmares and spacing or numbing out.

I Can Help You to Recover

I am trained in the psychophysiology of trauma and trauma recovery. This means I understand about how the body and the mind combine in response to threat whether that is a real or perceived threat. This is the ‘Fight, Flight or Freeze behaviours that human beings, in common with animals, show to ‘Get safe!’

Trauma recovery is not easy and it is very important that I work with you so that you feel safe during your treatment and so do not re-traumatise you.

It is my job to manage the session and ‘to put the brakes on’ in order that you are not overwhelmed and hyperaroused with fear, but that we develop protocols together to manage the anxiety produced by triggers and help you towards recovery.

My approach

My approach is based on the common sense teachings and training I have had with Dr Babette Rothschild and Michael Gavin in which the use of 8 keys to safe trauma recovery are applied  http://www.somatictraumatherapy.com/

The aim of using the 8 keys is to relieve not intensify suffering. Your quality of life is my primary goal. No two individuals are alike and what works with one traumatised individual may not work with another. The 8 keys is a common sense approach where recovery proceeds best when the treatment approach is tailored to your unique needs.

I use the 8 keys in combination with many treatment methods and theories to tailor my work with your trauma experience. These may include mindfulness, movement and exercise as well as transactional analysis.

Here are the 8 keys that are described in her book:

  • Key 1: Plot your Course with Mindfulness
  • Key 2: Begin with Your Epilog… You Made it!
  • Key 3: Remembering is not Required
  • Key 4: Stop Flashbacks
  • Key 5 Reconcile Forgiveness and Shame (Understand and forgive your limitation, own and share your shame)
  • Key 6: Take Smaller Steps for Bigger Leaps
  • Key 7: Get Moving
  • Key 8: Make Lemonade

“Are you overwhelmed by the task of your recovery? Or are you pushing too far or too fast and suffering rebound for your efforts?… Who would not want to speed their way out of trauma? It feels awful… It is better to take one seemingly absurdly small step that you can handle and succeed with safely than to over-stretch your limits and risk backsliding or a worsening of your symptoms.” – Dr. Babette Rothschild

If you would like to find out more please contact me on 07880 668651 or email: fiona@signaturetherapy.co.uk

BACP Accredited & registered therapist, based in Bowdon, offering counselling and psychotherapy services in South Manchester covering Hale, Wilmslow, Altrincham, Timperley, Knutsford and Cheshire areas.