Trauma is a wound....

Trauma originates from a Greek word signifying wound or damage. For trauma to impact emotionally on an individual a traumatic event has occurred. Mate in 2020 stated “Trauma is a wound that leaves a mark on your psyche…. and in your body that impairs your functioning in later life…Trauma isn’t what happened to you but what happened inside of you.”

Signs and symptoms of an individual who is experiencing trauma are many and can include avoidance, hyperarousal or hypo-arousal and intrusive thinking. Reliving the experience in the form of flashbacks and dreams is common. War-related PTSD was a recognised mental health disorder by the DSM 111 in 1980. It is now recognised that PTSD can also occur as a result of many other traumatic events.

Most neurophysical survival responses to trauma are freeze, flight and fight whereby adrenaline and cortisol are released. These stress responses flood the brain and impact on the individual’s ability to think clearly and logically.

A range of treatments do exist for clients impacted by trauma. NICE Guidelines (NICE, 2018) recommend individual trauma focused CBT interventions including cognitive processing therapy (CPT), cognitive therapy for PTSD, narrative and prolonged exposure therapy. Some of the counselling skills used by counsellors with clients are derived from the Person-centred, psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural (CBT) approaches with many counsellors working with clients with trauma. Other interventions such as EMDR and Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy can be used according what counsellors have been fully trained in, are competent to deliver and have adequate supervision measures in place.