Perspectives on Trauma
According to the American Psychological Association:
“Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives.”
Having worked with clients from all walks of life who have suffered some form of trauma (including refugees from Africa, the headmistress of a school and a businessman, among others), it is apparent that it is an individual’s subjective experience that determines whether an event is or is not traumatic.
Jon Allen, psychologist and author of Coping with Trauma: A Guide to Self-Understanding says that “Psychologically, the bottom line of trauma is overwhelming emotion and a feeling of utter helplessness. There may or may not be bodily injury, but psychological trauma is coupled with physiological upheaval that plays a leading role in the long-range effects”.
Basically, trauma is determined by the experiences and resilience of the survivor. Different people could experience the same event where one undergoes severe trauma and another remains psychologically uninjured. Therefore it is not the event that defines the trauma but the emotional and psychological make up of the individual.
Additionally, specific aspects of a situation or event will affect each person differently. Which is why addressing individual root causes of trauma will result in more long-term healing effects.
While it may be apparent what it feels like to live with the consequences of past trauma on a daily basis, we don’t usually have the information we need to understand what exactly transpired in our minds and bodies at the time of the trauma. We suffer mental, emotional and physical symptoms as a direct consequence of how the trauma changed the development of our body-mind.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) coupled with counselling has proved effective in providing true emotional freedom from all types of trauma; accidents, injury, childhood trauma, abuse, PTSD, rape, sudden loss or bereavement.
“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives”
How would you move forward in your life if you could deal with and resolve the trauma you have experienced?
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