DEFINITION OF TRAUMA
Trauma is a psychological response to a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. When the traumatic events are so intense, they overwhelm the individual's ability to cope, leading to feelings of helplessness and a low sense of self. Trauma also diminishes the individuals' ability to process emotions and experiences. The traumatic event comes from a single traumatic event, such as an accident, assault and robbery, or a series of traumatic events across time, such as family violence, abused, bullying and belittling.
TYPE OF TRAUMA
Bonding between children and their primary caregiver is essential, especially in the early years. But separation, abuse, neglect, lack of affection or divorce, disrupt the necessary bonding; the child develops a sense of being unwanted, which they often carry to adulthood. The survivors of Attachment Trauma often find it difficult to trust people and are insecure in their relationship.
Attachment trauma is also known as Developmental Trauma.
Complex trauma results from being exposed to emotional, psychological and physical abuse or profound neglect over some time. These events usually occur early in life, disrupting many aspects of the person’s early development and the formation of self-identity. It is an attachment trauma plus other traumatic encounters.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Individuals may develop PTSD after witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event, such as an accident, sexual assault or abuse. Symptoms of PTSD may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. A person who has PTSD may face temporary difficulty adjusting and coping with their daily lives for some time.
A person may develop PTSD from a single incident, such as robbery and automobile accident, and C-PTSD from repeated exposure to trauma, such as family violence and abandonment.
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RESPONSE TO TRAUMA
How trauma affects individuals depends on many factors, including the person's characteristics, developmental processes, social and cultural factors and events.
Most trauma survivors are highly resilient and learn to develop appropriate coping strategies to deal with trauma's aftermath and effects. Some individuals show minimal distress and function well across significant life areas and developmental stages. However, the neural systems that store the memories are triggered whenever they encounter something they perceive as dangerous, causing them to respond to the situation as if they are still in that traumatic event.
Mentally, the trauma survivors are aware that the traumatic event(s) is over. Yet, they do not feel safe and continue to be hypervigilant to any signs of danger. Processing the traumatic experience(s) with a trauma-informed psychotherapist will help reconcile their sensation, thoughts and emotions associated with the trauma memories, which then enable the individuals to heal, restore their lives and move forward.
Trauma-informed treatment (Trauma Therapy or Trauma Counselling) is an approach that recognises and emphasises how the traumatic experience(s) impact your mental, behavioural, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. An experienced trauma therapist recognised the connection between your traumatic experiences and your brain-body responses. The trauma therapist will help you identify your coping mechanism and help you process the traumatic experience(s). The therapy process includes helping you identify triggers linked to the traumatic experience(s) and adopt the strategy to deal with it. Trauma Therapy aims to help you develop a better sense of yourself, leading to a healthier relationship with yourself and others.
There are several popular and researched-validated Trauma Therapies. At Restoring Peace, we provide several trauma-informed treatments which include Brainspotting, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Expressive Therapy, Sandtray Therapy, Somatic Experiencing (SE) and several other trauma-informed treatments. Our psychotherapists may integrate several modalities to customise to our client's unique needs. We also emphasise the importance of a solid and healthy therapeutic relationship where you will feel safe to process your traumatic experience(s).