Useful links and Resources

Emotional Trauma

Trauma can be defined as any emotional response to or effect of exposure to stressful, frightening or distressing events. My approach is to listen and understand your experiences. Feeling your feelings, and accepting them, is key to healing from trauma. Trauma can affect other aspects of your life like relationships and many more. Our past life experiences can have a lasting effect on our current situations, leaving us sometimes feeling hopeless about the future. Unprocessed emotional trauma can negatively impact a person’s emotional resilience, ability to trust, self-esteem, need for control, and many more.

People who have experienced emotional trauma may also struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, and self-blame. People can often feel emotionally detached from what has happened and find themselves re-experiencing the event over and over again. Some people may also develop addictive patterns as a way of coping. Counselling can help people to cope with traumatic experiences and help them to understand what they have gone through. It can also assist them in dealing with the symptoms that they may have developed


Individuals may avoid talking or thinking about the event as a form of self-preservation. This can lead to isolation, a sense of numbness and prolonged shock. In turn relationships will be impacted on and an individual could experience being easily startled, feeling on edge and likely to jump at any noise or sound. Some people may fear that going to therapy will mean they have to focus on the very thing they're trying to numb or avoid, while others may feel that simply talking about it won't change what happened


In today's world we are surrounded by distractions: boxsets, food, alcohol, the list goes on. There is nothing fundamentally wrong engaging with any of these things. However, for many of us, they can become tools to help us cope with day-to-day stresses, to obscure from us what we may be feeling within.
These feelings can often be signposts towards unconscious or subconscious memories and experiences from our early years, 'wounds' which need our conscious attention, in order for us to be happy and thrive. Through my practice I can assist you in identifying the roots of these feelings and thus begin the process of healing.

Little "t" Traumas

Little “t” traumas are highly distressing events that affect individuals on a personal level. little “t” trauma include non-life-threatening injuries, emotional abuse, death of a pet, bullying or harassment, and loss of significant relationships. What is highly distressing to one person may not cause the same emotional response in someone else. It’s the kind of trauma that gets imprinted within us, particularly when we don’t have a healthy support system to help us be with our emotions and process our experiences.

It’s common for children who have experienced prolonged emotional distress, including emotional neglect, to have distorted worldviews and beliefs about themselves. They would most likely go on to develop unhelpful coping strategies. It can cause us to be more prone to negative emotions like anxiety, guilt, shame, anger or disconnection. These events can be extremely upsetting and cause significant emotional damage, particularly if an individual experiences more than one event or if these traumas occur during important periods of brain development like early childhood and adolescence.

Traumatic events that occur in early childhood are often referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). These experiences can be particularly harmful, because they occur at such a vulnerable phase of growth. In early childhood, brain development and social-emotional growth are at a critical stage. Hence, the effects of trauma on children can carry over into adolescence and young adulthood.

Depression

Depression is a common mental disorder. It involves a depressed mood or loss of pleasure or interest in activities for long periods of time. Depression is different from regular mood changes and feelings about everyday life. It can affect all aspects of life, including relationships with family, friends and community.

 

You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn't worth living. More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn't a weakness and you can't simply "snap out" of it. Depression may require long-term treatment. But don't get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both.

 

Psychotherapy can help people with depression to:

  • Pinpoint life events that contribute to their depression and help them find ways to change, accept or adapt to those situations
  • Set realistic goals for the future
  • Identify distorted thought processes or unhelpful behaviours that contribute to feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Develop skills to cope with symptoms and problems, and identify or prevent future episodes of depression

Anxiety

Anxiety is a common human experience, our body’s natural response to stress. Anxiety is often described as a feeling of fear or unease and it’s something everyone experiences at times. A certain level of anxiety is normal. It helps us to avoid dangerous situations and makes us alert and motivated to deal with problems.

Anxiety becomes a mental health disorder when it occurs regularly and at any time, and produces prolonged symptoms of stress that affects a person’s quality of life. If a person responds with anxiety to events or threats that do not pose a realistic danger, the condition can enter a cycle where everything becomes a potential crisis. In these situations, the person becomes incapable of functioning normally in daily life.

The way people think influences the way they approach demanding, stressful events, and the way they react when facing these situations. For people experiencing anxiety, this thinking is often characterised by negative thoughts that can develop into a cycle that is difficult to break out of.
To effectively manage anxiety, it's essential to understand why it occurs in the first place. It can have multiple causes, and pinpointing them can be the first step toward finding relief.

 

Our past experiences can put fear on us with messages that what happened before might happen again, so your fear is that the same thing will happen again leading you to feel really anxious. In reality although this has happened before the present situation might be different situation and different time in your life. The likelihood of this happening again in the exact same way is very low. Your brain doesn't know this unless you tell it! Remind yourself of the reality rather than listening to the anxious thoughts that plague you. It takes practice and time to rebuild this relationship with your anxious mind. The more we run away from anxiety, the worse it gets. In order to live our lives more freely we have to face our fear.
We cannot control our thoughts coming into our minds, but we can control how we choose to respond to them, looking at 'why' the same anxious thoughts are reoccurring and dominating your life. Some days will be harder than others but knowing that you have some support can go a long way to helping you overcome anxiety.

Anger

What is Anger?

Anger is a natural response often used as a protective mechanism to shield ourselves from intensity or to hide from the painful emotions. It is a necessary emotional feedback from our system, and it surfaces due to feelings of helpfulness, when we feel powerless or when our boundaries have been crossed. It happens at unconscious level because it’s been suppressed.

Our upbringing and society have an influence on our anger suppression. This can be, for example, that we were not taught how to express ourselves from our formative years, we were hushed and told to do as we were told, or it could be that we suppressed our emotions with fear of losing relationships, being abandoned and many more reasons.

Together we can work on how to integrate your emotions rather than get rid of them. Learn how to live with it and learn how to connect with those feelings when they arise so that you can maintain them in a functional way.

Crying And Its Benefits

Crying is a natural response to a wide variety of emotions, ranging from extreme sadness to extreme happiness. Crying is a self-soothing behaviour. When we cry, our bodies release built-up stress and tension. Research suggests that when you cry, your body releases endorphins and oxytocin. These tears contain stress hormones and toxins that, when expelled, bring about a sense of relief and relaxation. When emotions are held back, such as swallowing or holding back tears, the emotional energy gets congested in the body. It's important to remember that crying is a normal human experience. Therapists do not view crying as a sign of weakness, but as a healthy and natural response to life's challenges. Crying is a sign of strength because it is a demonstration of a completely comfortable relationship with the self. Choosing to cry is also choosing not to care about the opinions of others. Sadly, society has stigmatized the expression of sadness. When somebody cries the common reaction is to make the crying stop. Unknowingly, when someone responds to tears with “Ssssh don’t cry” they’re actually saying, “Stop expressing your emotion through crying, it’s making me uncomfortable,” Crying also helps set an example to others. Seeing someone freely express themselves is inspiring. People may try to suppress tears if they see them as a sign of weakness, but science suggests that doing so could mean missing out on a range of benefits. Researchers have found that crying helps with self soothing, to regulate one's emotions, it helps calm them to improve their mood and it reduces stress. Suddenly dealing with all the emotions which haven’t been felt in years can be challenging and triggering. Remember to cry, to feel, and to just let it all out.

Self-Soothing With Breath Work

If things ever get overwhelming you always have your breath. Send a signal to your nervous system that you're okay this can only be done via the breath.

* Box breathing: You can do this by breathing in for four, holding for four and then breathing out for four.

* Double inhale: Take two inhales through your nose and out your mouth.

* Five senses: Look around and identify five things you can see. Breathe. Listen carefully and identify four things you can hear. Breathe. Pay attention to three things you can touch or physically feel. Breathe. Identify two things you can smell. Breathe. Finally, notice one thing you can taste. Breathe.

Stress Release Exercises

If you are not in a crisis or immediate danger, and you’re open to trying some simple exercises meant to release stress and trauma, here are some simple suggestions to start your journey.

* Run water over your hands. Start with cold water and slowly warm it up. Feel the sensations from your wrists to your nails. Notice the temperature changes, and how that changes the experience. Do this until you feel calmer.

* Move your body in ways that feel comfortable to you. Be silly with it. Shake out your hands and arms. Jiggle your belly. Twirl around. Jog in place, or do jumping jacks. Focus on how this feels in your body. Start with your feet and move up until you’ve moved everything. Make note of what feels good. * Focus on your breath. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, then exhale for 4 seconds. Do this until you start to feel calmer.

* Tense and relax different parts of your body. Start with your feet, then your legs, clench your bottom, and squeeze your arms to your chest; do one body part at a time and notice the difference before and after you tense and relax.