If you or a loved one has been faced with a traumatic event recently then you’ll know that it’s incredibly disruptive to daily life and your inner peace. Being anxious, sleepless, depressed, angry, and paranoid is no way to live! Although we live in a society that has so much trauma we very rarely treat it as an illness and too often assume that our resilience (or lack thereof) is due to willpower or some vague innate strength. However, research has shown that trauma is a hardwired reaction that drastically alters the brain’s functioning if left untreated and has very real effects that cannot be controlled through willpower or avoidance.
Research has also shown that trauma has long lasting effects and in fact many people only begin to feel these effects long after the original traumatic incident (sometimes even years afterwards). This can be very confusing and very frightening and is a good indicator that you need to address the trauma with professional help. I do both short term trauma debriefing and long term trauma therapy.
Trauma debriefing ideally happens soon after a trauma (days to a week or two after the incident) and aims at dealing with the difficulties it raises as well as at preventing future effects. It can take anywhere from 4 to 10 sessions to do a debriefing and depends entirely on unique characteristics of both yourself and the trauma you sustained.
Long term trauma therapy aims to help you overcome past trauma (or more than one) that have had a lasting and detrimental effect on you or your relationships. This involves a more lengthy process of unpacking the trauma and what it has done to your inner sense of safety and how best to regain your peace and ability to cope. In both services I use the Wits Trauma Model which was developed in South Africa and is being successfully used in many clinics, practices, and hospitals all over the country with excellent results. Remember, with trauma, the sooner you act to address it the less it will harm you.