Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a response which occurs when a person experiences an unpredictable threat to life, which can impact on their sense of safety. The brain and the body go into a ‘fight, flight or shutdown’ response, which restricts the brain’s ability to process the event. For this reason, the memory from the event is not processed properly and therefore can be easily reactivated by triggers from certain sights, smells, sounds or body sensations. When the memory is reactivated it can feel like the event is happening in the here and now and can continue to be retraumatising to the individual.
Symptoms of trauma can include:
- Disturbed sleep including nightmares
- Flashbacks to the event
- Feeling triggered by reminders of the event
- Low self-worth
- Suicidal thoughts
- Being on high alert
- Excessive use of drugs and alcohol
- Avoiding thinking or talking about the event
- Feeling detached from family and friends
- Difficulty concentrating
Potential causes of Trauma
- Being part of an accident like a car crash
- Physical abuse
- Rape or sexual assault
- Childhood sexual abuse
- Military conflicts
- Being part of a war zone
- Life-threatening events such as domestic violence
- Loss of a loved one
Different types of Trauma
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD occurs when someone is subject to an event which involved actual or threatened harm to life. PTSD can be the result of being part of the event but it can also occur if you witnessed the traumatic event.
Complex-trauma is the result of repeated exposure to traumatic experiences overtime. This is often related to trauma experiences endured throughout childhood which have gone on over many months or years. In some cases it can also occur as adults where someone has been subjected to repeated trauma such as those who are the victims of domestic violence.
Secondary or vicarious trauma
In some cases secondary or vicarious trauma can occur from hearing details of a trauma. This is common in healthcare professionals who may hear details of traumatic events as part of their work.
What type of therapy can help?
Therapy can help to process trauma memories so that they stop having an affect in the present. The type of therapy used may be dependent on the type of trauma that has been endured. The following therapies can be effective:
What can I do to help myself?
If you have experienced trauma, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional if it has lasted longer than 4 weeks or if it's impacting your functioning e.g. struggling to sleep, go to work, eat or go out. There are however some self-help strategies that may be helpful in managing the symptoms of trauma:
- Practice self-care: Taking care of your physical and emotional needs is crucial in managing trauma. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, getting movement through exercise, and taking time for relaxation and self-care activities like having a bath.
- Practice grounding techniques: Grounding techniques can help you stay present and connected to the present moment. Try using your senses to ground such as eating strong favoured sweets, having a calming scent you can smell or an object which helps ground you in the present.
- Connect with others: Try to talk to someone about how you are feeling.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga.
- Engage in positive activities: Doing things that you enjoy and find meaningful can help improve your mood and sense of well-being. Try to engage in activities that bring you joy and a sense of accomplishment.
Why should I choose Turning Tides?
At Turning Tides, our team of Psychologists are highly trained and have many years of experience working with common mental health conditions such as trauma. Our therapists are all fully qualified in using a range of different approaches that can be helpful in managing trauma symptoms and they are able to integrate aspects of different approaches to ensure your sessions meet your individual needs. The aim of therapy is to provide you with the tools you need to be able to manage your mental health independently.
Our psychologists can help you to understand your trauma, exploring some of the different factors that have brought you to where you are today. Based on these individual factors, they will teach you strategies to effectively manage your trauma and allow you to move forwards in your life.
We have tried to keep our pricing as simple and straightforward as possible. We charge £120 for a 60 minute appointment, regardless of whether this is an assessment or therapy session. Our fees are the same for face-to-face appointments and online appointments as you will receive the same high standard of care from our psychologists, regardless of how it is delivered.
Contact Us Today
For a free 15-minute consultation with a psychologist complete the contact us form.