An effective trauma treatment counsellor knows that de-traumatisation is the key to effective treatment. Fortunately, this can be achieved quite easily – for virtually all trauma including PTSD and loss.
Trauma is the repeated firing of flight in the limbic system or Amygdale (part of the Limbic system or primitive brain) – triggered uncontrollably by reminders every day or reasonably frequently. Even though the reminders may not bear any rational relation to the original trauma event itself.
The Amygdale is not the sharpest tool in the box. It has one objective and one only – namely to keep you safe. It is not concerned about false alarms however distressing they are. And like the fire alarm in your kitchen, the Amygdale may set off for reasons (such as burnt toast) which are hardly life threatening.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a medical diagnosis of trauma, which like all such diagnoses is virtually valueless in terms of trauma treatment – but has the effect of introducing the “medical experts” into the room so to speak.
Severe trauma and PTSD anxiety symptoms
Intrusive, memories, flashbacks, nightmares and intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. pounding heart, rapid breathing, sweating etc.)
Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma, Loss of interest in activities, Feeling detached and emotionally numb and a sense of a limited future.
Manifestations of normal anxieties
Difficulty sleep, anger outbursts, difficulty concentrating and Hyper vigilance (on constant “red alert”)
I see the PTSD diagnosis as a severe yet easily identifiable form of trauma. PTSD is associated with obvious trauma (car accidents, war situations) – not subtle like humiliation in class or the loss from a parental divorce. Not that the Amygdale or Limbic system can tell the difference.
The key points are that classic trauma symptoms are present – namely a combination of re-experiencing, avoidance as well as manifestations of other anxieties that are out of control. The consequences are potentially devastating for living a life of balance, meaning and control.
It is also is true that most trauma symptoms take up to three months to manifest – before that the negative anxiety type experiences are more likely to be the body’s own defences and healing working their way through.
The UK has been in many wars over the past thirty years and so soldiers return with trauma so bad and social skills so weak that they drift into a life of hopelessness, addiction and unhelpful diagnoses of mental illness. The authorities, stuck in their very “medical and risk averse” way of doing things, often have no idea. The consequences are tragic. PTSD Resolution offers some hope.
Trauma Treatment is simply stated
The principle is to relieve the trauma or traumas and then work as hard as is necessary to get that life back on track.
Rewind and trance work are the critical first step and then the next stage, getting a life that works, could include the full range of tools and principles that underlie Feelbetter Counselling. See Skillful Counselling
I can help with all of this.