Post traumatic stress
Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Counselling
Terrible events are hard to deal with. Sudden, traumatic experiences can shatter people’s lives and leave a profound mark on the way they feel about themselves and their lives. Traumas hurt! Often they not only cause terrible physical injuries but emotional injury as well, which can be far more painful and take much longer to heal. The effect of trauma can be a lingering feeling that your world has changed utterly.
Despite hearing or reading about terrible events all the time on the television, radio or newspaper, people often cannot really believe that such things could happen to them. You have probably felt relatively safe in your own world and at least felt you were able to cope with problems as they came along.
Suddenly, even little things can feel overwhelming and there is a sense that things are no longer within your control. It is as if your bubble of safety has burst. All the beliefs you held about yourself and your world before the trauma seem to have changed and are no longer felt to be true (Janoff-Bulman, 1992). You are in the Grip of Trauma!
How can counselling help after a traumatic event?
Understanding your reactions will help to reduce your sense of isolation, of being alone with your experience. You are not alone! Current research data suggests that, over the course of a lifetime, as many as 25 percent of people exposed to any type of catastrophic and highly stressful event will develop reactions that can be classified as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Green, 1994). The percentage is higher still for rape and assault victims, combat veterans and those who have directly experienced community disasters.
When you are traumatized by a life event, your feelings of extreme fear, horror or helplessness can sometimes lead to a pattern of reactions which is constantly repeated and can be very disruptive to your everyday life. This, in turn, affects your ability to cope and function so that at times you may even wonder if you are losing your mind. Counselling over a period of time can help to put these feelings and reactions back into the correct perspective and allow you to begin to return to your normal way of life.