How I work with trauma
I work predominantly with trauma and the imprint it leaves on everyday life. Trauma can result from our response to distressing and frightening events such as a car accident or assault and / or repeated or prolonged experiences such as childhood abuse or neglect. It can also result from situations that leave us feeling out of control, powerless or beyond our ability to cope with.
Reactions to trauma can have a deep impact on a person’s life and it is not uncommon to live with this for years after the traumatic event occurred. Life may feel unsafe and dangerous. Thoughts, choices, relationships and ultimately how a person lives in the world can become shaped by the experience of trauma. Common problems can also include anxiety, depression, substance misuse, self-harm and thoughts of suicide. Pervasive feelings of guilt and shame can also be present for many.
I have a structured and systematic approach to trauma recovery that moves through three phases. To begin with I will carry out a thorough assessment where I can gather information that will help us to plan our way forward. We will then focus on safety and stabilisation to help you feel more grounded and in control of everyday life. There follows the second phase where the trauma can be fully processed and we will talk together about the right process for your experience. The final phase attends to integration and meaning-making. Bringing forth what has been gained and consolidating it in order to move beyond the trauma.
We will discuss how we move through the phases. You may not want to go beyond phase one or we may focus on this phase for many sessions. My ultimate concern is about you and your safety so we will work in a way that feels comfortable and stays in your window of tolerance.
I am trained in different trauma-focused treatments, many being evidence-based, and developed to work with the different experiences that trauma can bring such as flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts and images, dissociation and dissociative episodes, negative thoughts, emotion dysregulation and hyperarousal.
Trauma therapy is an interactive form of therapy and we will look at many different strategies and techniques in session together that you will be encouraged to practise over the week. You will also receive additional tools, worksheets and information in written form along the way.