What is Trauma Counselling?
Trauma Counselling is conducted by a professional like a psychologist or trauma counsellor, providing a safe space and platform, facilitating the process whereby the counselee is encouraged to communicate private and very sensitive information, thoughts and emotions pertaining a traumatic experience and as a result successfully and effectively debriefing the counselee/client.
How do I know if I need Trauma Counselling?
This is an important question to ask and not everyone experiencing trauma would need trauma counselling. This will all depend on the gravity of the incident, how the individual relates to the incident and if the individual is able to healthily process the incident. But trough experience I often see that people think they can work through the trauma themselves and then much later realize they are still struggling with some after effects of trauma like, sleep deprivation, nightmares, flashbacks, night sweats, stress, anxiety, fear, self-harm, anger, bitterness, forgetfulness, lack of productivity, lack of concentration, avoidance, depression, headaches, nausea, stomach ulcers and more.
Trauma Counselling is all about:
1. A Safe Space
A Very important foundation of any trauma counselling session is creating a safe space for a client to enter, free of any form of judgement or interpretation. The counselee should feel safe and trust the psychologist or counsellor and also trust the process it involves. If the counselee/client finds it difficult to be at ease a successful session will not take place. A Safe environment involves a space that is peaceful and tranquil, free from any distractions or interruptions and the counsellor or psychologist should create a metal and emotional safe environment for the client at all times to ensure a successful outcome.
The counselor’s aim is to help the client be more self-aware and being mindful of their internal thoughts and emotions. In helping the client understand the Trauma Cycle helps a great deal in identifying key elements in the process of what they have gone through (past tense), are going through presently and what they can expect in the future. Trauma Counselling helps the counselee understand their state of mind, emotions and gives them the ability to track their own progress and growth and to eliminate any negative behaviours. This gives the counselee hope and understanding that their past experiences does not have to outline their future thinking, emotions, decision making or behaviour in any negative way.
3. Successfully Debriefing
The psychologist or trauma counsellor will help the counselee through a very sensitive process of detaching the emotional charge from the traumatic incident or memory. Clients need to understand that by expression of emotions and communicating their thoughts pertaining a traumatic experience gives room for healing and positive progress. By keeping and blocking feelings and thoughts in does not solve the problem or resolve any suffered emotional trauma, but can result in more difficulties especially if emotions are triggered by other events.
Many a times I have found that the counselee wants to be healed but finds it extremely difficult to talk about the ordeal. Here counsellor gently encourages or leads the client to succumb to open up and embrace the difficult truth. The result is one where we are able to help the client/counselee process the trauma and come to terms with their situation. The counselee will experience an emotional charge being lifted and/or cognitive shifts taking place.
4. Returning to Normal life
Normal life before a traumatic incident and normal life after a traumatic incident looks different because of one’s experience. At times a counselee should create a new normal all depending on the severity of the incident. For example, if one has lost a child or a spouse life after the loss will never be the same as before, one now must build a new normal and this takes time and understanding. This is a very difficult process but very crucial process to succeed in for healthy living and enjoyment of life.
At times people have suffered from trauma many years ago and are suffering from PTSD and this created negative behavioural patterns over time. Trauma Counselling can help the individual identify the negative behaviours and start the process of installing more constructive thinking and behaviour.
Other times all depending on the incident people can turn back to normal very quickly after days or weeks through the help of trauma counselling. People will find that the trauma incident does not affect family, personal or work life negatively if dealt with correctly and with help of a professional.
Latest posts by Gerrie Pretorius (see all)
- Why Employee Wellness? - January 10, 2018
- What is Trauma Counselling? - June 15, 2017
- What to Expect from a Marriage Counselling Session? - May 17, 2017