WHAT IS TRAUMA?
Trauma is how your brain responds to a frightening and distressing event that you have seen, heard about, or been involved in. You believed this event was very dangerous to you or somebody else so you felt helpless, terrified, horrified or disgusted.
These events are called Traumatic events or experiences. Nearly everyone has traumatic experiences during their lives
Traumatic events may be a one off incident:
Serious accidents, e.g. Car accident
Seeing someone die
Sexual or physical attack
Natural disaster, i.e. earthquake, flood, hurricane
Traumatic events can happen repeatedly over months
and sometimes years:
Physical, sexual or emotional abuse
Violence at home
HOW DOES TRAUMA AFFECT US?
Most people who experience a trauma will be very distressed and have some symptoms for a few days and sometimes weeks after a traumatic experience.Some of us recover quickly, some do not. Sometimes the effect of trauma can stay with us and affect our lives long after the event. Specialist help may be needed to aid recovery.
The effects can be physical, psychological, or a mixture of the two.
Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms)Intrusive memories, flashbacks.
Avoiding situations, people and places that remind you of the event.
Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
Hyperarousal (Feeling keyed up) and Hypoarousal (a flat affect) people often suffer a pendulum effect and swing between hypoarousal and hyperarousal.
Confused, struggle to concentrate, and have difficulty sleeping.
Feel emotionally numb with no feelings.
10. Be “spaced out” or not there.
11. Suffer from poor concentration and memory loss.
WHAT IS IT?
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is used in the treatment of trauma – this can either be a one off traumatic incident or complex trauma such as emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
It integrates somatic processing with cognitive and emotional elements. It considers how the body reacts to experiences that can be emotionally overwhelming and traumatic.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
It is a method of therapy that helps to address the physiological effects and symptoms of trauma recognizing that trauma profoundly affects the body and many individuals with PTSD have somatic responses of anxiety, panic, physical pain etc.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY
WHAT IS IT?
Research studies show CBT is one of the most effective Counselling treatments for complex PTSD.
Imagery Rescripting & Reprocessing therapy (IRRT) The process involves the client picturing mental images while being guided by the therapist. IRRT effectively breaks down the event and emotional intensity
NARRATIVE EXPOSURE THERAPY (NET):
WHAT IS IT?
In this therapeutic approach the therapist will encourage the individual to reflect upon their entire life but with a focus on the traumatic events in order to facilitate integration and an understanding of feelings and behavioural patterns that evolved during development. The purpose is to allow the individual make meaning of the events and integrate them into their life.
HOW LONG DOES TREATMENT LAST?
CBT treatment for PTSD often lasts for three to six months. Other types of treatment for PTSD can last longer. If you have other mental health problems as well as PTSD, this may extend your treatment.