Trauma is caused when the person’s sense of a safe, trustworthy world is broken. The person feels confused, betrayed and insecure. Trauma can result from a single experience or from an ongoing experience. Trauma can follow difficult events such as loss, sexual abuse, bullying, domestic violence, military combat, physical assault, theft, robbery, catastrophic events such as a flood, fire, as well as a car accident or even a diagnosis of a life-threatening illness.
Different people will not react the same to a similarly traumatic event and will not suffer the trauma to the same extent. Therefore, not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will be traumatized. The severity of the symptoms experienced will vary from one person to another depending on the type of trauma involved, its duration, frequency and the amount of emotional support they received at the time. Repeated trauma experienced, especially, during childhood can have more long term consequences. Many people have difficulties integrating their traumatic experience(s) and develop specific patterns of avoidance and anxiety suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One should not feel embarrassed, ashamed or inadequate as a result of these reactions.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is characterized by distress, anxiety, anger, depression, shame, self-hate, alcohol or drug abuse as well as difficulties in relating with others. PTSD can develop after exposure to a traumatic event where the person was overwhelmed or unable to resolve the situation.
(1) there is increased arousal and anxiety,
(2) there is a re-experiencing of the original trauma through flashbacks and nightmares,
(3) avoidance of situation/people associated with the trauma(triggers),
(4) numbing or arousal mixed with emotions of despair
(5) possible episode of dissociation and disorientation.
Typically, the traumatized person is often hyper-vigilant and has sleep problems or insomnia. At times, it is difficult to concentrate, to deal with normal life. There are difficulties in social, occupational and another important area of daily life and the symptoms last more than a month. Sometimes, they turn to alcohol or drug abuse to escape or become self-destructive without understanding the nature and cause of their reactions. They often feel emotionally exhausted. Some people despair, feeling permanently affected or can become confused, depressed, doubting their own sense of identity and worth. The good news is that over time and with treatment the symptoms may become less intense.
If you believe that you have some of those symptoms and suffer from a form of trauma or PTSD, it is important that you seek help. We recommend that you visit your GP for an assessment for a Mental Health Treatment Plan and a referral in order to obtain a Medicare rebate.
During the counselling session, we will proceed in a caring manner at your own pace, to help you restore a sense of control and balance. We will explore coping strategies to deal with difficult emotions and triggers that impact your daily life. You will not be required to discuss the details of the traumatic event(s) unless you want to or when you want to. The first aim will be to talk and to explore strategies to help you cope and function in your current life situation. Secondly, if it is comfortable and only, if you wish to, you can discuss the experience at your own pace. There are many effective ways to resolve past memories to gain peace and well-being.
We offer a Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, Compassion-Focused Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, all of which are evidence-based approaches to reduce Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
We will listen to you, provide you with an assessment and then present an approach to meet your specific needs and circumstances. Together, we will explore practical and effective ways to resolve your challenges and reach your goals. The aim is to help you to build emotional resources in your own way, to enable you to gain greater resilience, calm and well-being.
For an appointment or for more information call us
14 Greenway St
Turner, Canberra, ACT