Recover from Trauma or PTSD
How does Counselling Help Someone with a Trauma History or PTSD?
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) can be a result of domestic abuse, childhood abuse, sexual assault, rape, car accident, fire, war, watching someone die, and many more experiences.
PTSD is believed to occur when a person is in a life death experience, such as a hostage situation, and naturally the person focuses on ‘how to get out’, which is assisted by our bodies own mechanisms (fight, flight, freeze). The body produces Adrenalin, we act / do what we need to do, however, the emotions of rage, horror, fear, etc., become trapped in our limbic system (deep/emotional center) in the brain, which can keep us triggering, like a record player, for years. The brain constantly sets alarm bells off in the autonomic nervous system, creating a loop, that can keep replaying. As seen in the Peter Levine video (of the polar bear on Youtube), us humans don’t have a big shake after a trauma (like a bear does), and sadly, the nervous energy of the trauma remains in the body/brain/nervous system.
I have found that brainspotting or Somatic Therapy reduces/alleviates this trauma from the brain/body and nervous system, leaving the client to feel calm again…and to stop triggering…therefore reduce anxiety/PTSD symptoms!
Trauma Counselling is a specialized area.
When a person has experienced a life death situation which has left the person with persistent ‘triggering’ of the autonomic nervous system. The conscious mind may say, ‘I am calm…I am safe’. However, due to the unprocessed emotions relating to a past trauma, the client continues to feel unsafe. This feeling of being unsafe, which is often unconscious (and deep brain, where there are no words – believed to be in the sub-cortical part of the brain), causes the person to start to avoid situations where they feel even more unsafe.
Clients with past trauma often find themselves avoiding leaving the home (agoraphobia), avoiding social situations (social phobia), and avoiding doing anything that could add more stress to their already overwhelmed body, nervous system, and mind.
So, how can a counsellor help?
The three therapies I recommend for working with the deep brain:
EMDR, Somatic Experiencing and Brainspotting.
I use brainspotting in my counselling practice, and many psychologists do EMDR and Somatic Experiencing.
Talk therapy can only work so much...
When it comes to trauma and PTSD, talk therapy (CBT Cognitive Behavior Therapy, etc,.) only gets as deep as the neocortex (the outer layer of the brain), Trauma has deeply impacted the deep brain (limbic system) where the emotions need to be processed.
If you want to know more about this process, please watch this youtube video on anxiety, by Phoebe Hutchison (Founder of Passionate Life Program).
Brainspotting does not take long, and many clients feel relief with one to a few sessions. Feel free to look up my youtube videos on this page to see the video on brainspotting. We also recommend Somatic Therapy.
Why suffer any longer?