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Trauma is when an event or series of stressful events overwhelms an individual's existing coping mechanisms and their capacity to process and make sense of an experience. It is something that is too much to be digested.
Specifically this can refer to single incidents like accidents, being assaulted, natural disasters but also to more common experiences like neglect, emotional, physical, sexual or spiritual abuse, being bullied, witnessing or being the object of violence, fights in the home when growing up, early losses, parents divorcing, one parent being emotionally unavailable because of their mental health or because of an addiction and abandonment traumas like one parent leaving or being sent to boarding school and many more.
Although having survived these hardships can be an incredible source of strength for an individual, many people seek therapy at some point to undo the cumulative effect that past events have had on their nervous system. For people that have experienced trauma or traumatic stress, the body lives in a constant state of danger, with survival responses being often activated by present day circumstances.
Most psychotherapy can work with trauma in some way. The type of trauma therapy I offer uses an integrative transpersonal model to work with complex trauma and dissociation. Having trained and having specialist supervision with supervisor and trauma expert Mary Clare de Echevarria, I can integrate elements of different modern therapy approaches to working with trauma such as Janina Fisher's parts work, ego state therapy, internal family systems, Stephen Porges' polyvagal theory, mindfulness and interventions borrowed from body psychotherapies and yoga.
I work in a way that values clients feeling safe in the therapy and developing more tools to process some of the trauma from the past. This is best done one bit at a time, whilst increasing their ability to cope with present difficulties and make themselves feel better.
Although I don't currently offer EMDR, I have a strong interest in this and plan to do some additional training on this topic in the near future.
If you would like to know more or are not sure whether you need trauma therapy, I would be happy to have a conversation with you about it if you get in touch. For some articles on trauma and dissociation you can check out my blog.