Trauma usually refers to when our usual ways of processing and coping become overwhelmed during a distressing event or events. It can leave us feeling unable to cope, numb, isolated, disconnected, anxious and vulnerable. Sometimes it can be a one off event, other times it can take place over a sustained period of time.
Some of the reactions to a psychological trauma can be flashbacks, anxiety, disrupted sleep, depression, low self esteem and anger. Other ways trauma affects people is in our ability to form or maintain relationships, feeling unable to function the way we used to or self medicating, for example taking alcohol.
These reactions are normal for a period of between four and eight weeks following a traumatic event. However if gone unchecked or addressed and they continue then someone may develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
There are different types of counselling and psychotherapy which can help with trauma such as CBT, EMDR, Rewind, and much more. The counselling can help you to process and make sense of what happened. It can help you to learn to regulate strong emotions and sensations, and to release any ‘fight or flight’ energy in more positive ways.
If you would like further information on how counselling could help you please contact Sentient Counselling, based in Belfast.