Cindi Bedor Trauma Counselling

The experience of trauma can be defined as a single event that threatened your life or physical integrity, or one in which you witnessed someone else's actual or threatened death. It can also arise from repeated, smaller incidents accumulating over time.

Such experiences involve intense fear, helplessness or horror, and they are usually unexpected. Some examples might include:

* many exposures to horrific scenes or accidents
* several experiences of violence or witnessing violence
* violations and threat in the form of verbal, physical, sexual or emotional abuse
* stalking, bullying, domestic violence and any form of harassment
* sudden and violent death and bereavement of close family members, especially children, or friends

Events, or a series of events, such as these elicit a profound response in us, affecting us physically and emotionally, challenging our thoughts and beliefs.

Within the first month following a single traumatic event, most people feel shocked and numb, angry, or guilty that they have survived when others have died. Many people blame themselves for not being able to prevent the event or the harm it caused.

It is also common in the aftermath of a traumatic incident to have:

* intruding thoughts and images (sometimes called flashbacks)
* dreams or nightmares
* intense distress
* a strong desire to avoid anything that resembles the incident
* a loss of concentration
* a feeling of detachment
* a sense of time slowing down
* feeling 'on guard' and being startled easily
* feeling physically exhausted, yet unable to rest

All of these are very normal reactions, and tell us that you have faced a threat that in some way was both serious and overwhelming. The fact that these symptoms are sometimes uncontrollable are signs that your body and mind are working hard to come to terms with what happened and recover from it.

Trauma therapy gives you time and space to understand why you feel as you do, and to begin to harness your own resources to recover from what has happened. Feeling safe and in control of your life again forms a large part of the therapy. There may also be specific interventions designed to activate your natural healing processes, especially if you have had a trauma reaction lasting over 12 months and you may have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


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