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What is trauma?

Trauma can be one incident, or continued exposure to situations which overwhelm us. Examples include the loss of a loved one, illness, accident or injury. Then there are the traumas brought about by abuse or neglect, violence or coercion, abandonment or isolation.

What one person finds traumatic might not impact so strongly on someone else. Overwhelming experiences become problematic when we are not met with sufficient comfort, safety and support at the time. The passage of time does not make trauma go away.

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Indicators of trauma

  • Addictive or compulsive behaviours (drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, eating, fitness - any behaviour done to excess)

  • Feeling detached, uncaring, numb or spaced out

  • Outbursts of rage or violence

  • Panic attacks, flashbacks

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Self harm

  • Chronic unexplained physical symptoms (eg pain, tiredness, headaches, problems sleeping, skin problems, inflammation of gut and other digestion issues, itchiness or rashes…)

  • Chronic depression, sadness, anxiety or over-sensitivity

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Working with trauma

Trauma disrupts our lives due to its intense sensations and the fact that it involves memories and experiences that have been un-processed. Our goal is to calm your threat response system (fight-flight-freeze) sufficiently to allow the key negative experiences to be processed in a safe and helpful way.

I offer a staged process to:

  • Identify what triggers your overwhelming feelings or confusing behaviours

  • Notice what makes things worse for you and what helps you

  • Devise a suite of tools to give you more control over your responses to triggers

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