It is commonly believed that trauma is an event that happens, such as a car accident, a natural disaster, sexual abuse, physical abuse, sudden loss of a loved one, witnessing something horrible to name a few. These are all traumatic experiences. Traumatic experiences can also be something that did not happen to you, such as neglect, as a child. Your basic physical and emotional needs were not met. You may not even remember the traumatic experience, but is shows up in your behavior. The memory is in your body.
Trauma is what happened inside you as a result of an external event. It disconnects you from yourself and from the present moment. It shapes your view of the world. As a result the world does not feel safe. The impact can be especially profound if the trauma happened during childhood a time when the brain is developing and your beliefs about yourself, your relationships and the world around you is being shaped. It reorganizes the nervous system such that it is in a reactive mode a lot of the time.
Some of the effects that trauma can have on your life:
- Difficulty sleeping,
- Loss of appetite, increased appetite
- Exhaustion, overwhelm
- Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, despair
- Loss of faith
- Difficulty trusting yourself, and others
- Feeling disconnected from yourself, others and the world around you
- Substance use, addictions, self-medicating, self-harm
- Dissatisfaction in relationships
- Feelings of shame or guilt
- Unable to connect with your feelings
- Ongoing health issues
Many people feel reluctant, and avoid seeking counselling as they do not want to talk about or “relive” their trauma. For some, this can be re-traumatizing, while for others it can be helpful. Working through traumatic experiences is personal. My priority is to provide an environment that respects each individual’s needs. I will help you develop your “observer self” and identify your “body’s” experience to external traumatic events. Remember, you survived your traumatic experiences. Let’s work together to move you forward towards living calmer in today rather than in survival mode from the past.
My approach to counselling is gentle, body centred, client centred and implicit. I provide a safe and supportive environment to help you identify and address core issues that can be affecting and/or getting in the way of you moving forward in your life. You will develop greater insights into your behaviors and coping styles, with compassion, that may have served you well in the past, but may keep you stuck and struggling in the present.