Trauma happens to us all in one way or another. Unfortunately, trauma often occurs when we are younger, when we have neither the power to fight nor flee. When overpowered, we can’t run away and don’t have the size, strength, or personal ability to take a stand. To a kid, caregivers, adults, and older kids seem like giants at that time. Trauma stays stuck in our body, in our nervous system. Moving it through us to return to a healthy, less reactive nervous system is the goal of trauma counselling.
Trauma can also happen as an adult due to overwhelming circumstances, such as natural disasters, financial and/or relational issues, death, severe illness or injury, or unexpected events like a car accident. Trauma can also happen at work, especially for anyone with a stressful work environment. Events that dramatically impact our lives that we have no control over can leave us traumatized. Here are some telltale signs that trauma is adversely affecting your life.
- Feeling numb at times
- Overly emotional
- Frozen – stuck.
- Panic attacks
- Anxiety attacks
- Being easily startled or frightened.
- Always being on guard for danger.
- Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast.
- Trouble sleeping.
- Trouble concentrating.
- Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behaviour.
- Overwhelming guilt or shame.
Our team of counsellors have trained extensively in the area of trauma-informed counselling. Much of the work is related to how trauma exists in your body and how it inhabits your thoughts and feelings. People often turn away from the unpleasantness of their trauma symptoms, either feeling shame, fear, embarrassment, or too uncomfortable. Our work assists you to change your relationship with your trauma gently, at a pace that fits your nervous system. All you need is a willingness to address this. When people take the time to work with their trauma, they become less triggered, less reactive, and more intentional. This leads toward healthy boundaries and relationships.
Two of our counsellors, Brinita Dutt, MA, RCC, and Jeff Markusoff, MA, RCC, are trained in EMDR, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. This approach is outlined here.