Trauma occurs when a person's nervous system is overwhelmed, often by an actual or perceived threat to life. The perception of trauma can be associated with 1) an acute event, for example rape, accident, horror, surgery, abuse, war, or 2) with a chronic situation in which the person is overwhelmed with ongoing mental, physical or sexual abuse. Symptoms of trauma are wide and varied, and may include panic attacks, feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, obsessions, phobias, hyper-vigilance, learning difficulties, numbness, feeling spaced out, sleep disturbances, difficulties with concentration.
The natural reaction when someone is threatened is to defend oneself or attempt to escape, using active fight or flight responses associated with our animal instincts. However, when these natural survival reactions don't work effectively, a third instinctual response can cause the person to become immobile or "frozen," resulting in trauma. He/she often becomes immobilized in the feeling of fear and often feels stuck in the past, unable to be fully present in the here and now.
When a person is traumatized, physical and emotional responses cannot be processed and integrated, so the shame, defeat and humiliation associated with the original event replays itself over and over again in the body detached from history, but experienced in the present. The terror, physiological activation and bodily impulses are still present. The effects of trauma occur primarily through instinct, affecting the lower and mid brain. These instinctive responses are primarily physiological and felt through sensation and impulses.
The aim of treatment is to help the traumatized person heal from the emotional and physical pain of trauma and to help cognitively understand what happened. The healing process teaches clients to track the impulses and activation of the body through their own inner body sensation. They learn to develop resources and to re-learn defensive responses to threat. They are taught how to modulate hyper-arousal and/or frozen states. They are supported in finally letting go safely of the debilitating and painful symptoms of trauma.Ultimately the person is able to integrate the experience in a way that allows them to be fully present in life without being re-stimulated by the symptoms of the trauma.
For an appointment or further details you can contact Kate at:
087 234 4201
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Last Updated 20 August 2015