Trauma Therapy in Totnes, Devon, TQ9
Traumatic events involve experiencing, witnessing, or sometimes hearing about, something that feels overwhelming and/ or is life-threatening to either ourselves or somebody else. They challenge our sense of safety, trust and ability to survive.
This can include a one-off event like an accident, sexual or physical assault, rape, a medical intervention or diagnosis, severe illness or hospitalisation, sudden bereavement, or a dramatic change in circumstances (work, relationships, family, home etc). Some people have also survived multiple or complex traumas such as a series of one-off events, or longer-term situations like physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect, domestic violence, natural disasters and war.
What all these experiences have in common is that they can be very difficult for our nervous systems to process and 'put in the past'. Instead our bodies and brains keep responding as though the danger is still carrying on, or could return at any moment. This can leave us with any of the numerous possible symptoms of trauma.
Sometimes sufferers will receive a medical diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For others, trauma remains undiagnosed but is often a significant factor in other mental health and stress-related conditions.
Fortunately there are things that can help. Thanks to the combined insights of modern neuroscience research and ancient wisdom, there have been huge advances in the understanding and safe resolution of trauma in recent years. For people who have experienced trauma though, it can still feel really scarey to reach out to another human being and take those first tentative steps on the healing journey. This can be particularly hard because the nature of trauma is often to make us feel separate, scared, reactive and like we have done something bad or shameful.
My trauma therapy approach (which is based on a lot of training, research and experience) adapts to each individual, and is always underpinned by an understanding of the importance of increasing safety, connection and awareness of present reality. For some people it's important to take things really slowly and gently, whereas others might feel more inclined to approach processing specific traumatic events. Many people are surprised (and relieved) to discover that trauma counselling doesn't necessarily depend on them retelling their story in any detail. There are other ways that we can work, the priority being to help people (and their nervous systems) adapt to the reality that the trauma is over and in the past, make sense of their experience, and discover how life can get easier (or even have the potential to be enjoyable!). If people do choose to work through individual events, then this is approached in a safe way designed to make it manageable and potentially empowering, rather than overwhelming.
If you have any questions about trauma, PTSD and how trauma counselling might be relevant for you, please do get in touch.
"I feel a more connected and humane human being these days. The little time we spent together seems to have opened the door to something much bigger which has started to heal me inside out." Anonymous (used with permission)
“I really appreciate the way you work with me, the way you don't say I have to re-live it all by having to go through all the details of the past, and what happened, which would be way too much to deal with at the moment. The way you help me find a sense of safety.” Lisa