Uncover the transformative healing power of professional support in navigating trauma’s aftermath, fostering resilience, and rebuilding a sense of self. Explore the power of trauma counselling.
The Power of Trauma Counselling
A burglary. A hijacking. A car accident. Even a serious illness or years of being a victim of abuse – these are just some of the events that can cause trauma in our lives. Anything that puts us or a loved one at risk of harm, psychologically or emotionally, can be defined as a traumatic event.
A traumatic event can have an impact on our bodies, our emotions and our minds. It is likely that we will experience the impact of trauma directly after the event and then, after a few days, will begin to feel better and recover. For some people, the traumatic feelings continue into the future and affect their ability to function or cope with daily life – this is called post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Engaging in trauma counselling as soon as possible may prevent it from becoming PTSD.
What are the signs of trauma?
We all react to trauma in different ways. There is no right or wrong way to respond.
Signs of trauma could include:
- Anger or mood swings
- Ongoing anxiety and fear
- Guilt, shame and self-blame
- Withdrawing from others
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Feeling disconnected or numb
- Flashbacks of the traumatic incident
- Physical symptoms like insomnia or nightmares, exhaustion, inability to concentrate, racing heartbeat, headache, stomach pains, or general aches and pains.
How to deal with trauma
In the same way as there is no single response to trauma, so there is no one correct way to deal with trauma. The best advice is to move at a pace that suits you and gradually improving you transformative healing journey.
After experiencing trauma, it may help to:
- Get support from loved ones. You might want to be alone to process your trauma but it helps to be around close family or loved ones. Even if you don’t want to talk about the trauma, they can offer support, understanding and comfort.
- Try to maintain your normal routine. It’s likely that your life does not feel at all normal, but continuing with your daily activities can help – it means that you are not allowing the trauma to dictate your life and will give you back some control.
- Take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself and look after your physical and mental health. Eat nutritious meals, stay active, make sure you get enough regular sleep. Do things that will help calm your anxiety.
- Try to avoid using drugs or alcohol to numb your pain. It might give you relief in the short term, but the effect of drugs and alcohol wears off, leaving you feeling more depressed or anxious and needing more. Developing a substance abuse problem will add complications in the longer term.
- Put off making life-changing decisions as a response to your trauma. Emotionally driven decisions may leave you worse off than you were before. Rather give it time and avoid any big changes until you feel more in control of your life.
- Seek professional help. Experts advise that if you haven’t started feeling better within six weeks, you may need to turn to a professional. This also applies if you don’t have anyone you feel comfortable talking to, or if your trauma is interfering with your everyday life.