Trauma Therapy

Trauma/ Traumatic Stress/ PTSD/ Complex PTSD/ Developmental Trauma and Addictions/Dependency

I have an interest in alleviating the impact of trauma from one’s life.

You may have experienced trauma, or had experiences where your caregivers were often frightening or frightened.  Trauma can be defined as an event, or series of events, in which you felt threatened, overwhelmed and powerless, resulting in a whole range of distressing symptoms such as flashbacks, poor sleep, anxiety or depression, chronic aches and pains, and withdrawal from friends and family.

You may wish to access therapy as you experiencing these above direct symptoms relating to your traumatic experiences, or you are struggling with symptoms that do not link directly back to the traumatic experience, such as you are left with aches, pains, muscle tension, shaking, seemingly unrelated overwhelming sensations, intrusive thoughts or impulses to act in certain ways.

To develop my competence in trauma therapy I have undertaken further training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Compassion Focused Therapy and Trauma Focused CBT.

I often work with people with high levels of shame and self-criticism, as well as additional difficulties such as harmful drug or alcohol use, addictions, and/or dependence and/or deliberate self-injury and other behaviours that are harmful. These are often linked with past traumatic experiences or attachment injuries (sexual, emotional, physical abuse or neglect; experience or witness to domestic abuse or attachment/relational trauma). Therapy is also often beneficial for family members, who may struggle with issues of co-dependency, often left feeling helpless and powerless.

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is based on the latest research in neuroscience and works with the physical and psychological effects of both trauma and developmental injuries. It is a mindfulness-based body-focused approach (it does not include touch).

Traumatic experiences can vary from one-off shocking events, or long-term developmental trauma associated with early childhood experiences, and these are represented in the body by a ‘body memory’. You may find yourself feeling or acting as if the trauma is still happening… as if the past is repeating itself.

This is because the body holds the ‘memory’ of what has happened as well as what could have not happened, in forms of incomplete responses that are expressed as disturbing psychological or physical symptoms. You may be experiencing unexplained sense of discomfort, anxiety, tension, numbness, or something being ‘just not right’. There may be a sense of fragmentation; of feeling distanced or disconnected. These are all telling your story about how your body adjusted and developed ‘protective strategies’ to protect you from overwhelming past experiences.

Given that our bodies hold both the memory of our experiences and the wisdom for healing and transformation, sensorimotor psychotherapy is more effective than traditional talking therapies. Because this approach works from bottom-up processing trauma memories, there is much less need to talk about all the ins and out and details of the experience and therefore there is less likelihood of being re-traumatised or a re-experiencing of trauma in the session. Whether you can remember the traumatic event is not necessarily significant – what is important for resolution of the trauma is to work towards the awareness, understanding and integration of these incomplete responses.

It is a gentle trauma therapy approach yet one with the potential to offer a powerful and positive effect on calming and regulating the nervous system and our physiological and psychological functioning and well-being.