Many clients who seek my help experience various degrees of stress from overwhelming past experiences that still impact on them even though the event has passed. These type of problems are often addressed as trauma, which may sound like a big word, but all it means is literally “wound“. As with physical wounds there can be small and big ones. While small wounds can be patched up easily, the big ones can become resistant to heal and keep hurting.
Clients with a trauma history often tell me they feel as if they have “no control” over their lives, a lost sense of “safety” and haunted by (conscious or unconscious) memories of the past. In therapy, I work with you to find your internal, embodied and relational resources to regain a sense of safety.
Trauma Informed Psychotherapy & EMDR
My approach to trauma therapy is grounded in trauma informed psychotherapy and mindfulness which I acquired through specialist training, ongoing continuous professional development and my clinical practice. My aim is to work alongside you, as I am a firm believer that you are the expert of your experience and that we can collaboratively work together to develop the support you need for your healing journey. I am currently undertaking additional specialist training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing). EMDR is highly effective and due to its evidence base it is recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) for the treatment of post traumatic stress and PTSD (see 1.6.18).
Adjusting to Changed Field Conditions
The impact of trauma can be so devastating that our minds re-visit the incident over and over again. This phenomenon is known as flashbacks – or audiovisual experiences causing stress and anxiety. Trauma survivors sometimes also dissociate from their bodies by switching off, enter dreamlike states or are locked in their head by intrusive thoughts. These types of responses are common to adverse life experiences. Psychotherapy can help to re-adjust to life after difficult events by making sense of what happened, piecing together often fragmented memories and assigning these memories to the past.
Reconnecting with Self and Others
Feelings of shame (e.g. “I am bad” – where the self is perceived problematic) and guilt (e.g. “I did something bad” – where action or behaviour is perceived problematic) are very common in people who experienced trauma, in particular when responses cannot be controlled and stress levels are overwhelming. Shame and guilt can often lead to disconnection and isolation. Psychotherapy can help to explore these feelings safely and find healthy ways of reconnecting with self and others.
Trauma in Relationships
Sometimes trauma isn’t a single event but a multitude of many events experienced in relationship with family members, caretakers or partners. In these instances it is extremely difficult to trust people and therapy’s primary purpose is to establish a trusting relationship. This can be a challenging process for therapist and client. For example, many people experience empathy as something positive as of being truly seen and understood by another human being. For some people, however, this can be extremely difficult when empathy and attunement was missing in their development. Understanding why something hurts holds opportunities for therapeutic growth.