how we help

Trauma

Anyone can experience trauma. The word 'trauma' comes from the Greek word for 'wound' and refers to a cluster of symptoms that can occur when you are exposed to a deeply distressing, unexpected situation or event. When most people think of trauma, they think about sexual assault, physical violence, accidents or war. However, in reality, you can experience trauma in many other situations where you are exposed to any unexpected circumstances that are different from the predictable life patterns that you are used to, destabilises your sense of control, involves physical or emotional threat to your own or someone else's life and exerts undue strain on your coping abilities. You can even experience trauma if you witness an accident or violence, if you or someone you love is diagnosed with a serious illness, if someone you care about suddenly dies, if you are bullied and so on. 

 
Dealing with trauma
 

What are the symptoms

Experiencing trauma?

How you may react to a deeply distressing experience or event depends on the severity of the distressing situation, the extent that support is available, the presence of current or past life stress, your personality, past learning and coping resources. Research shows that human beings, as well as many animals, have the same initial response to a traumatic experience or event but not everyone will be severely affected because they are hard wired with a natural healing process that helps adjustment, making some sense of what happened, and putting it into perspective. However, when this natural healing process is interrupted or gets stuck, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, and/or alcohol and drug problems can occur. The following symptoms are commonly experienced after a traumatic event:

Physical

  • Being hyper-vigilant

  • Easily startled

  • Fatigue/exhaustion

  • Disturbed sleep 

  • General aches and pains 


Cognitive

  • Intrusive thoughts and memories of the event

  • Visual images of the event

  • Nightmares

  • Poor concentration and memory

  • Confusion 

  • Dissociation, depersonalisation, derealisation


Behavioural

  • Avoidance of people, places or activities that are reminders of the event

  • Social withdrawal and isolation

  • Loss of interest in normal activities 


Emotional

  • Fear

  • Numbness and detachment

  • Depression

  • Guilt

  • Horror

  • Shame

  • Anger and irritability

  • Anxiety and panic  

 
grief counselling
dealing with a traumatic event
post traumatic stress disorder
coping with stress
 

If symptoms persist for more than one month, 

Did you know that... 

You should seek help if the symptoms resulting from the trauma are too distressing for you or if they have lasted for more than four weeks The sooner you receive psychological therapy, the greater is your chance of making a full recovery. We are trained in only evidence-based psychological therapies for the treatment of trauma and we use our training in neuroscience to help you to understand how your brain has changed as a result of the trauma. We help you to develop the skills that you need to overcome the distressing memories and their negative impact on you and your life.

 
Recovering from trauma