THERAPEUTIC COUNSELLING SERVICE
Trauma is abuse, loss of others, neglect, domestic violence, accidents, whiplash, any situation that overwhelms us. If we have a life experience that stops us, we freeze. If we didn't freeze and we were able to move and change the event, it would not cause a traumatic reaction. If the life experience causes us to freeze because we are in shock and unable to respond, we are traumatized. It is not what the life experience was, but how we respond to it internally that decides if it is a trauma or not.
We instantly dissociate, we separate our emotions from our bodies because the emotion of the pain and the powerlessness is too much for us to handle and as a result, the memory, which is too painful to remember, goes into our unconscious mind as traumatic event. From here, it controls our thoughts, feelings and behaviors, trying to keep us safe and not letting the trauma happen ever again. Trauma affects us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Because the trauma experience is now referenced in the brain, the person is unable to respond as they did before. This is because now it activates the limbic or reptilian brain, the part of the brain that holds the fight, flight or freeze response. Unfortunately we cannot think or make a conscious decision we are acting instinctively. This is good if it is an emergency but not appropriate otherwise. The trauma is remembered by the body and central nervous system, there are no words to describe what happened. We remember and define our experience through our senses, what we saw and heard, the sights and sounds that remind us of what happened.
To change this, the left over energy has to be discharged and so resolved. It is possible, and never too late, to be free from traumatic stress and this is where therapy comes in. We work together to make sense of your experience whilst also releasing the stress caught in your body memory, so the nervous system can relax.