Trauma has entered the vocabulary of the world in a new way this year as together we face the global pandemic and other existential threats. Trauma and its effects can be both debilitating (post traumatic stress) and it is also now acknowledged can create post traumatic growth.
Traumatic events are events that have caused us to become unable to act and they take away choice. They are situations in which we experience we have no control or power.
We are extraordinarily well equipped in some ways to manage such situations through the natural survival fight/flight/freeze mechanism that kicks into gear in order to prevent us from being injured further. Often, however, once the danger has passed, unlike other animals we find it hard to revert to the previous norm and may remain stuck with our system apparently in permanent hypervigilant mode. This can be experienced as states of hyper arousal or hypo arousal (dissociation or feeling numb).
In therapy we can work towards dissolving frozen states or hyper vigilant states through recognized and powerful tools to help your own resources to come back online whilst taking care to preserve safety both emotional and physical. Overwhelming emotions such as trauma induced toxic shame, anger, confusion can be worked with in gentle ways towards healing and bringing back the ability to trust oneself and undo damage and harm that had been done.
In the face of both individual and intergenerational trauma, Individual, couples and Family therapy can help to build resilience, overcoming loss, anger, shame and fear creating the possibilities of flourishing.