How to deal with trauma

Part 1, Part 2

If you're looking for information on how to deal with trauma, then I'm really glad you've landed here. I so hope the information here on my pages will help you get started on the road to recovery - because you can recover.

Just before we look at life after a traumatic event, do start off with Part 1 of this article to get an overview of trauma and the negative effects it can have on your mental well-being. I'll still be here when you come back.

Picutre quote: You have sole custody of your life, who you are today is not who you have to be tomorrow. Leeza Gibbons

The aftermath - anything positive?

It's possible that when you're over these horrible symptoms, you can begin to see that in some way, some good has come of it.

I'm almost biting my lip as I write this, because the experience of trauma is so personal. If you're reading this soon after a traumatic experience I can totally understand if you want to take issue with me on that statement!

However, you may begin to feel that you've overcome something, and that you've survived. You may even feel pleased about the way you acted at the time, or the way that you've dealt with the difficulties post-incident.

When you're beginning to recover, try to discover any positive aspects of what has happened. For example, you might have an increased appreciation of personal relationships, you may have discovered a new zest for life, or even a feeling of strength.

Can trauma counselling help?

If you're left with frightening symptoms - even many years after the event - ‘trying to forget’ and ‘pulling yourself together’ just don’t work.  

If this is your situation, I suspect you've given yourself a hard time for not being able to get on top things. You may also have become increasingly isolated.

Trauma counselling really can help if you're struggling in your own situation. (See also: PTSD Treatment). However, it's worth being aware that your counsellor needs to be skilled in trauma work specifically.

Your memories don't have to be your taskmasters

Your traumatic memories can be treated, maybe even in just a few sessions - even if the event happened years ago. The memory can be de-traumatised with a safe, non-intrusive and reliable technique.

Visual Kinaesthetic Dissociation (VKD), often called the ‘rewind’ technique (but really being what's called trauma-focused 'imaginal exposure' with guided relaxation) doesn't require you to tell your counsellor any details about the trauma if that's not what you want.

EMDR too is a well-recognised treatment for PTSD.

Counselling for PTSD can help you to move on with your life. It can give you the opportunity to consider how you've lived with the trauma. It can also show you how you've adapted your life to try and avoid being confronted by any reminders of the trauma. 

You may find that several aspects of your life have been impacted... and that you were completely unaware of those effects. 

Treating any post-traumatic stress or PTSD

PTSD can be treated quickly and effectively in the majority of cases. Whilst excellent results can often be obtained within just a few sessions, sometimes a longer course of counselling may be helpful, particularly if the trauma is related to years of abuse. 

The most important message I want you to take away from this article is that you can recover, and you can get your life back together again. I have every confidence in you.

Part 1, Part 2

Related Articles

Other Helpful Links

The Australian Psychological Society - Dealing with trauma
The Canadian Psychological Society - Post-trauma stress portal

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Elly Prior

It's me - Elly Prior, I'm the Founder and Author of this site. I'm a 'real' person! I'm hoping to make a positive difference, small or large, to every person who visits my site.

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Images courtesy of: Symphony of Love