Trauma and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Recovery
Have you ever experienced something that was inexplainable, where you recall an unhappy or traumatising experience? This can be a fleeting second of memory that leaves you feeling anxious or like you are reliving the sensations of that experience…You may be surprised that this even occurred, since you thought that you had “resolved” this issue or moved past it.
It has long been recognised that if you have been through a traumatic experience you need help if you are to recover fully. Many people fear that this will involve ‘reliving’ the trauma or getting stuck in the past.
With our evidence-based treatment approaches, it is not a requirement to put into words the depth of the story.
Virtually everyone experiences a trauma or significant stressor at some point in their lives, and we are usually able to recover from these experiences naturally, over a relatively short period of time. There are times, however, that people have difficulty recovering after certain traumatic or extremely stressful events. In these cases, one might experience a wide range of reactions.
Some of the most common reactions are:
- repeated thoughts or memories of the event;
- dreams or nightmares;
- intense emotions at thoughts or reminders of what happened;
- efforts to avoid thinking about it, as well as to avoid people, places, or situations that might be reminders;
- changes in your sense of who you are, or in how you see the world around you;
- trouble in relationships;
- impulsive or self-destructive behaviour; and
- difficulty with different emotions, such as depression, anxiety, anger, shame, and guilt.
What happens when the memories that won’t fade?
Normally our memories are organised in the hippocampus part of our brain then stored safely away in the neocortex or ‘long term memory’. When you have been traumatised these memories feel active or live, they don’t feel like they are safely stored in our long term memory. It is experienced as a current situation, and that things are happening now.
How trauma therapy works
Our therapists have worked with people who have post-traumatic stress disorder and have seen the impact reliving these memories can have on your day to day quality of life and your relationships with other people.
Our psychologists are trained in cognitive behavioural therapy, trauma focused therapy and memory processing techniques that can help you leave the past memories behind and move forward with your life in a positive and meaningful way.
Therapy can help you to learn ways of dealing with emotional conflicts caused by your trauma. You will develop an understanding of how your past affects the way you feel now and set goals for how you want to feel and act in the future.
Your therapist can help you:
- Identify what triggers your stressful memories and other symptoms
- Find ways to cope with intense feelings about the past
- Become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, so you can change your reactions to them
- Raise your self-esteem
- Reduce your symptoms, the intensity, frequency and severity of flashbacks
- Work out a way to live with your symptoms
- Learn how to cope with feelings of guilt or sadness, improving your relationships with colleagues, friends and family
How long does therapy last?
Trauma focused therapy lasts up to 14 sessions or 3 months. Initially sessions may be spaced biweekly or weekly but phased out towards the end.
TRAUMA COUNSELLING PERTH, FREMANTLE AND APPLECROSS
With our convenient near Freeway location, we service clients across Perth and Fremantle. We are located on Canning Hwy Applecross, just a few minutes from the Kwinana Freeway!