Trauma Therapy

Trauma can be defined as a psychological, emotional response to an event or an experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing to a trauma survivor. A trained Trauma Therapist can treat a survivor for the traumatic event that have helped to create the disturbance in their life which they are currently suffering from. If you find yourself being constantly berated by negative ‘mind chatter’, or unable to move forward with your life because of recurring thoughts of a past or present traumatic event, then I can help you to develop strategies to change your way of thinking and coping in order to overcome those thoughts of this traumatic event and develop a more positive mindset and healthy belief.

Types of Trauma 

Because trauma reactions fall across a wide spectrum, psychologists have developed categories as a way to differentiate between types of trauma. Among them are complex trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and developmental trauma disorder.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD can develop after a person has been exposed to a terrifying event or has been through an ordeal in which intense physical or psychological harm occurred or was threatened. Sufferers of PTSD have persistent and frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal.

Complex Trauma   

Complex Trauma happens repetitively. It often results in direct harm to the individual. The effects of complex trauma are cumulative. The traumatic experience frequently transpires within a particular time frame or within a specific relationship, and often in a specific setting.

Development Trauma 

Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) is a recent term in the study of psychology. This disorder forms during a child’s first three years of life. The result of abuse, neglect, and/or abandonment, developmental trauma interferes with the child’s neurological, cognitive, and psychological development. It disrupts the child's ability to attach to an adult caregiver. An adult who inflicts developmental trauma usually doesn’t do it intentionally – rather, it happens because they are not aware of the social and emotional needs of children.

Trauma Symptoms

Often, shock and denial are typical reactions to a traumatic event. Over time, these emotional responses may fade, but a survivor may also experience reactions long-term. These can include:

  • Anger
  • Persistent feelings of sadness and despair
  • Flashbacks
  • Unpredictable emotions
  • Physical symptoms, such as nausea and headaches
  • Intense feelings of guilt, as if they are somehow responsible for the event
  • An altered sense of shame
  • Feeling of isolation and hopelessness 

Types of Trauma Treatments

As a Trained Trauma Therapist, I can assess your unique needs and device a treatment plan (Bespoke Treatment Plan) specifically for the type of trauma you are suffering from.

Currently, there are several trauma therapy modalities in place which I use:

  • Trauma Focused - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TF - CBT) teaches the client to become more aware of their thoughts and beliefs about their trauma and gives them skills to help them react to emotional triggers in a healthier way.
  • Exposure Therapy (also called In Vivo Exposure Therapy) is a form of cognitive behaviour therapy that is used to reduce the fear associated with the emotional triggers caused by the trauma.
  • Talk Therapy (psychodynamic psychotherapy) is a method of verbal communication that is used to help a person find relief from emotional pain and strengthen the adaptive ways of problem management that the individual already possesses.                      
  • Somatic Therapy is a holistic form of therapy that studies the relationship between the mind and body in regard to psychological past. The theory behind somatic therapy is that trauma symptoms are the effects of instability of the ANS (autonomic nervous system). Past traumas disrupt the ANS. It aimed at relieving the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental and physical trauma-related health problems by focusing on the client's perceived body sensations. Somatic Therapy was created by trauma therapist Peter A. Levine.

What Happens in Therapy?

The above modalities treat the memory portion (the unconscious) of the trauma, however we now know that a survivor’s conscious brain must be treated, as well. Recent studies have found that body-oriented approaches such as mindfulness, yoga and EMDR are powerful tools for helping the mind and body reconnect.

A typical treatment plan will comprise of the following:

  • Stabilizing and safety 
  • Pyscho-education / understanding the impact of the trauma
  • Motivation (identify/develop the client's goal)
  • Coping skills
  • Trauma resolution

My preferred modality use is Trauma Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TF-CBT), Somatic Therapy but I'm trained in the application of other modalities.

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