The word trauma is used often and indiscriminately in our daily conversations. We use it to describe events which we feel have affected us strongly and to differentiate it from simply being sad. But what is trauma really and what can we do to treat it?
Regular memory formation.
To make it simple, trauma is a memory that has not yet found a home. Most things that happen to us in life, good and bad, have some sort of context. We know what happened, when it happened, who was involved and how we felt at the time. This information makes it easy for our brain to store it away neatly in the mind’s filing cabinet to be recalled as and when it is required. Death and bereavement, divorce, accidents and so on are all examples of memories that carry with them a sense of weight and upset. Yet, sooner or later, we ‘move on’ and think about the memory less and less. We consider it parked.
Trauma is different.
Trauma, on the other hand, is a memory that has not yet found the brain’s filing cabinet in which to be stored. It is homeless and fragmented memory filled with anxiety. Trauma events can be sudden, incredibly frightening, loud and shocking which makes them different from how a regular memory is processed. If trauma was a house guest it would never get further than the entrance hall where it would be stuck, reminding you of it’s presence every time you went in and out. What it needs is to be guided into the home and filed away, leaving you free from fear and pain.
Trauma or PTSD sufferers often experience:
- Flash backs
Unless trauma is treated it is unlikely to go away by itself yet many do not seek help from a health professional because it may be too uncomfortable to recount the very thing they don’t want to think about. Someone suffering from trauma will be an expert at avoiding situations, people, places, sounds and smells that in any way reminds them of their traumatic memory and this will have had a huge impact on their quality of life.
Luckily there are ways to treat trauma/PTSD which does not mean you have to relive and talk about the trauma memory and risk re-traumatisation. The Rewind Method that I use in my practice, developed by Dr. David Muss, actually advocate that the practitioner does not have to know what happened to you AT ALL. Treatment still carry over 90% success rate which you can read more about here. The treatment can be done face to face or online and can be done in one session unless there is a complex trauma memory where it may take a few more times.
I offer a free 30 minute consultation over the phone where we can have a chat about your particular situation and answer any questions you may have about trauma treatment and how it could work for you. Just fill in your details below and pick a date and time that suits you.