trau.ma

 

Noun

  • A deeply distressing or disturbing experience

  • Psychological Injury

 

late 17th century: from Greek, literally meaning ‘wound’.

So first things first - in Psychological terms what is a Trauma?

While working with countless clients over the past 20 years I have discovered that there are myriad of different cognitive, behavioural, emotional and social (to name but a few) reasons for how we are each affected in different ways by life's challenges and why some people are left with 'Psychological Injuries' or Traumas.

 

Therefore, a trauma doesn't necessarily need to be caused by something as extreme as being exposed to a war-torn environment or witnessing a violent act - it could simply be that your relationship has ended or that you fear performing in a public place or even that you are angry that you are being denied access to seeing your children. If something brings up a 'deeply distressing' thought or feeling - then this could be 'encoded' as a traumatic experience. As in the example above - people can feel suicidal (and often do commit suicide) because a relationship has ended - yet others face such an 'ending' as a new opportunity.

Such responses to these Psychological injuries/traumas may include Suicidal Thoughts/Ideation, Depression, Anxiety, Hyper-Vigilance, Sleep Disturbance, Intrusive Memories, Emotional Numbness, Withdrawal, Disappointment, Mental/Behavioural Avoidance and Increased Startle Responses are also common too.

 

Trauma may also be Physically linked to any of the Psychological  reactions such as Shakiness/Trembling, Tension/Muscular Aches, Insomnia, Fatigue, Poor Concentration, Forgetfulness, Palpitations, Dizziness,  Nausea, Diarrhoea or Disturbed Menstrual Cycle as examples.

As an experienced therapist my goal is to support my clients to discover the reasons for any Psychological 'weakness' or the associated thoughts that may be causing many of the responses mentioned above. Throughout the past five years I have utilised a range of Amygdala Depotentiation Techniques to help my clients to overcome Traumatic experience by 'de-linking' the emotions that were attached to their negative memories - thus removing any linked negative feelings. 

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Michael

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