emotional-traumaTrauma counseling supports you in identifying and coming to terms with the feelings and emotions you may feel during and after a traumatic experience. These emotions will vary from individual to individual, but the most commonly experienced emotions are anger and fear.

Anger and fear are very powerful emotions and if suppressed will almost certainly have an impact on your well-being – physical, emotional, and mental. They are also often misunderstood emotions and perceived as “bad”. Anger and fear in themselves are neither good nor bad. A useful analogy is water: we do not label water as bad because a tsunami killed thousands of people and therefore decide never to bath or shower again. So it is with anger and fear (and in fact all our emotions) – it is how we channel our emotions that makes the difference.

Of course, our responses are not limited to anger and fear; we could also feel shock, hopelessness, numbness, self-pity, inability to cope, disbelief, grief, guilt, or any other of the emotions we are capable of feeling.

An effect of these powerful emotions is the activation of the “fight or flight” response. Your adrenal glands dump adrenaline into your bloodstream and you are poised either to fight for your life or to run for your life. While this was an appropriate response for our ancestors when faced with a saber-toothed tiger, it is not effective when faced with a thug holding a gun to your head – fighting or running is likely to get you shot!

As this stored energy generally has no physical outlet, it can manifest in a host of physical symptoms such as headaches, pain in the neck and shoulders, chest pain, stomach pain, diarrhea, yawning and sighing, absent mindedness, nausea, tearfulness, disturbed sleeping patterns and short-temperedness or aggression.

There are many trauma-counseling models and they all have the same objective:

To get your life back on track and to move you from being a victim to being a victor.

Ways that the Trauma Counselor may use to achieve this include:

  • Listening to what you are saying (and not saying)
  • Supporting your coping mechanisms
  • Exploring with you, and validating, your feelings and emotions
  • Supporting you to make sense of the incident
  • Discouraging the use of suppression as a defense
  • Integrating the event meaningfully into your life

Trauma counseling differs from traditional counseling and analysis in that it is typically short-term and often limited to one or two sessions. It is a fact that trauma counseling often uncovers other issues from the past that have never been dealt with and in this case, longer-term therapy may be indicated.

My own experience with trauma counseling is that it is very effective, particularly when used together with Reiki (beaming, symbols etc.). People who have received trauma counseling within a few days of an incident typically report a feeling of relief and they feel able to take what they can from the experience.

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The Healing GroveTrauma Counseling