Trauma work

I am devoting a section of my site to trauma work for several reasons; It is one of my interests and something I have specific training in, and it is also an area which requires some particular approaches.

Trauma can be considered to fall into two types: The developmental wounds associated with relationship traumas in our childhood, and the trauma of a life-threatening event. These two types of traumatic experience are often interwoven in our life experience.

Traumatic events do not necessarily create difficulties for us: we may recover from the shock of a trauma ( an event we experience as life-threatening) quite quickly if we have the right support from other people. Sometimes, however, we become ‘stuck’ in the experience ( continue to have flash-backs, panic attacks, intrusive thoughts etc). When this happens it can be very painful and we often tend to deal with it in ways which reinforce the symptoms rather than relieve them. A good example of this is that we may be tempted to tell the story of our traumatic experience to everyone we know, hoping that ‘getting it out’ will get rid of it. This does not always work. Our fears can become even more embedded in our nervous system, like a path that becomes more defined the more times we walk it and talk it.

Working to resolve traumatic experience and post traumatic stress requires some specific approaches which focus on body experience, memory and language. There are several approaches to trauma work and I use techniques and theory developed by Babette Rothschild, Peter Levine and Merete Brantbjerg aswell as drawing on teaching from my earliest trainings in Belfast.

I engage in ongoing training and supervision to support my work with trauma.