Trauma Counselling Cork
Do you suffer from all or any of the following
- Panic attacks, anxiety and phobias
- Reduced ability to deal with stress
- Mental blankness or spaced-out feelings
- Abrupt mood swings
- Hypervigilance – always on the look-out for some new threat
- Getting flashbacks of the traumatic events as though they are still happening
- Inability to love, nurture or bond with other individuals
- Exaggerated emotional and startle responses
- Difficulty sleeping / nightmares
- Shame and lack of self-worth
If we are suffering from these kinds of symptoms we are said to be suffering from “post traumatic stress” or PTSD. The symptoms of trauma can be ever-present or they can come and go, remaining hidden for years and then suddenly surfacing. They can also be triggered by stress. The symptoms can grow increasingly complex over time, and the connection to the original trauma experience can diminish, leaving us with the symptoms and no apparent cause.
What causes trauma and PTSD?
The effects of trauma were first documented in soldiers who had experienced warfare but they can also arise after sexual, physical or emotional abuse (especially but not only in childhood), rape or sexual assault, assault or burglary and loss or bereavement.
Trauma does not have to stem from a major catastrophe. Less obvious causes include a variety of apparently ordinary events such as bullying – both at school and in the workplace, minor car accidents, invasive medical and dental procedures (especially in children), falls and other apparently minor injuries (especially children and older people), natural disasters, including fires and floods, being left alone especially young children and babies and birth stress, for both mother and baby.
“Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life.” – Judith Herman.
How I help you in your recovery
I use the three-part recovery model first put forward by Judith Herman in 1997, which is still highly regarded today by those involved in trauma research and recovery. The first stage is by far the most important – it involves establishing safety and stability in your body, in your relationships, and the rest of your life. That might mean finding a safe place to live or leaving a violent situation or relationship. It might mean finding a steady source of income, it might mean focussing on eating well and learning how to regulate your emotions and manage the symptoms that cause you suffering or make you feel unsafe. This might involve learning new relaxation skills or mindfulness, or taking up a hobby that you really enjoy and can lose yourself in such as art or writing. This stage may also involve addressing problems with alcohol or drugs, depression, eating behaviours, physical health, panic attacks, and dissociation.
The next stage, stage 2 is the stage of recovery and treatment is often referred to as ‘remembrance and mourning’ and involves reviewing and/or discussing memories to lessen their emotional intensity, to revise their meanings for one’s life and identity. This does NOT have to involve a lot of talking and reflection on what exactly happened –people often find that the memories are no longer disrupting their life and no longer of much interest to them. This stage is much more a process of working through grief about unwanted or abusive experiences and their negative effects on your life. It might equally involve mourning or working through grief about good experiences that one did not have, but that we all deserve.
The third and final stage of recovery focuses on reconnecting with people, friends, family, the community and the wider world, finding meaningful activities, establishing new life goals, finding renewed meaning and purpose in your life.
Getting help – Trauma Counselling Cork
I have specialist knowledge in working with clients suffering from the effects of trauma and PTSD. Whatever your experience, I am here to help.
See also my Trauma page and my Healing after Abuse page
Making an appointment
If you are interested in making an appointment for trauma counselling please ring 087 9934541 or send me a message.Book a counselling session today!
For more information, read the following articles: Trauma and resilience, trauma and complex PTSD, shame and recovery, trauma and the body.