About Trauma and TherapyBy Caroline Kendal MBACP (Accred)
Trauma results from any totally unexpected, powerful and shocking experience which we are unable to take in. This may be a physical injury, a strong psychological shock or a past event such as physical or sexual abuse.
Those who suffer trauma can find it very hard to stop thinking about it. It preoccupies us, becoming the most dominant thing in our lives. Memories of the traumatic event or situation are vivid, have a powerful emotional content and are often accompanied by physical reactions. Another response to trauma is trying to avoid thinking about anything connected to the traumatic event. However, avoidance is hard to maintain and every little reminder can trigger intrusive thoughts.
Trauma can often leave us feeling numb and detached. We may experience a deterioration in relationships with others, it evokes insecurity, anxiety and at times, depression. It can also affect sleep, concentration and our ability to relax.
What we have described is the normal reaction to trauma and we often heal ourselves in time. When we feel stuck, isolated and unable to move beyond the trauma, therapy can be helpful. There are many different effective approaches, from behavioural therapy and group therapy to psychotherapy.
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Issue area(s): Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Therapy Type(s): Counselling, Psychotherapy