Trauma Counselling at Ahead Psychology
If you have been involved in a traumatic event it is important to get professional help. If the symptoms are overwhelming and you feel you can’t cope, or they last for more than a couple of weeks, it’s time to reach out.
By getting help as soon as you need it you will be giving yourself the best chance to overcome any issues and move on with your life.
Trauma and PTSD Counselling can help to:
- function in day-to-day life again
- deal with flashbacks and nightmares
- beat depression
- manage anger, anxiety and stress
- overcome emotionally numbness
- regain your ability to form and maintain relationships
- stop self-medicating with drugs and/or alcohol.
Am I suffering from Trauma or PTSD?
Symptoms vary from person to person.
They can last anything from a couple of days to decades – if treatment isn’t sought.
Common symptoms of psychological trauma include:
- Flashbacks – when you re-experience the traumatic event mentally or physically.
- Insomnia – after a traumatic experience it is common to have difficulties sleeping due to nightmares or due to mentally going over details of the event.
- Anxiety – feeling constantly anxious after a trauma is very common. Sometimes these feelings turn into anxiety disorders such as PTSD or panic attacks.
- Stress – even if you handled stress very well before your experience, many people find stress harder to manage after a traumatic event.
- Anger – feeling angry after a trauma is very common, you might be angry at the person who traumatised you, at the event itself or even at the world. This can lead to outbursts and other anger management issues.
- Depression – many people fall into a depression after experiencing something so distressing. You can be left wondering why the event happened to you – leading to dark moods and in severe cases,suicidal thoughts.
- Loss of self-esteem – it can be easy to lack self-belief and self-confidence after you have experienced something traumatic. You can be left questioning your identity and what you have to offer the world.
- Self-medication – for some, the only way they feel they can deal with what happened is by self-medicating with alcohol or drugs. This leads to very self-destructive behaviour and can isolate you from friends and family.
- Emotional detachment – for some, the emotions brought up are so severe that they cannot deal with them at all. This can lead to emotional numbness, also known as dissociation. You may refuse to deal with any psychological issues you have and could appear cold and distant to others.
The longer your trauma symptoms go untreated, the more psychological damage they cause. It is important to know when to seek professional help.
When to get Trauma Counselling
According to the Australian Psychological Society you should seek professional help if the symptoms from a trauma are too distressing or last for more than a couple of weeks.
Indications that you are not coping include:
- Being unable to handle the intense feelings or physical sensations
- Feeling numb and empty
- Continuing to experience strong distressing emotions
- Continuing to have physical symptoms of being tense, agitated, and on edge
- Continuing to have disturbed sleep and/ or nightmares
- Having no-one to support you and with whom you can share your feelings and emotions
- Having relationship problems with friends, family and colleagues
- Increasing your use of alcohol or drugs.
7 important things to know about Trauma and PTSD
1. Trauma or PTSD results when you experience excessive stress that overwhelms your emotional or physical capacity.
2. Critical incidents that lead to trauma include things like,
- physical, emotional, sexual and verbal abuse
- violent crimes
- serious road accidents
- natural disasters or war
- the death of a friend or loved one
- a bitter divorce or relationship break up.
3. Traumatic events can be either one-off or repeated, sometimes over a long-term.
4. Everyone reacts differently to trauma and there is no guideline on how and what someone should feel
5. Traumatic experiences can produce emotional, cognitive (thinking) and physical reposes that can lead you to feel totally overwhelmed and unable to cope
6. Most people recover but for some the symptoms persist. If left unchecked, these wounds can result in serious, long lasting psychological issues.
7. Help is available and Trauma Counselling is effective.
Workplace Trauma Counselling – Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
Are you a manager or owner looking for staff counselling following a Critical Incident in Your workplace?
Ahead Psychology can offer once-off or ongoing trauma counselling.
Australian Psychological Society, Tip Sheet ‘Understanding and managing psychological trauma’. Accessed on 20 March 2013.
Counselling Directory UK ‘Trauma’ accessed on 20 March 2013
Bisson, J & Andrew, M 2007, ‘Psychological treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)’, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 3 Art. No.: CD003388. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003388.pub3.
Bisson, J, Ehlers, A, Matthews, R et al. 2007, ‘Psychological treatments for chronic post traumatic stress disorder’, British Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 190, pp. 97-104.
Common names and related terms include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), (also Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS), acute stress disorder, emotional trauma, traumatic stress, dissociation, Acute Stress Disorder,
Please Note – Ahead Psychology does not provide emergency crisis counselling. If you or someone you know needs crisis counselling, call Lifeline’s 24 hour telephone crisis support service 13 11 14. If you are facing a medical emergency from self-harm call an ambulance (000) or go to the emergency department of your local hospital.