Frequently asked questions

What is trauma?

Most people associate trauma with ‘life threatening events’, however, trauma is complex and can include many scenarios. Carol's view has been informed by her direct contact with people exposed to trauma. Carol defines trauma as “a psychological wound that has occurred due to a person’s perception of a stressful event” (Peter Horton, 2013). Psychological trauma can arise from many events including accidents, workplace injury, death, robbery, harassment, the loss of a loved one and emotionally intrusive thoughts. Trauma can have a profound impact on psychological wellbeing and everyday functioning. Thoughts can become consumed by the incident or events, making concentration on work near impossible, decision-making unclear and coping abilities frail. Reactions can range from mild to severe and can persist for weeks, months, or years following the initial traumatic event.

Am I experiencing trauma?

Identifying whether trauma has occured can be unclear for many people. Trauma is unique to each person, therefore triggers, responses and symptoms can vary significantly. For instance, if a snake slithered across the room in front of two people, one person might not be affected, or think about the even thereafter. The other person might become frightened by the perceived threat, which can cause emotionally demanding nightmares. Reactions vary from person to person. Common reactions include: - Sever anxiety, depression or stress - Physical symptoms such as shock, palpatations, trembling, sweating - Psychological symptoms such as aggression, confusion, excitement, panic - Flashbacks and recurrent thoughts - Mood swings - Guilt - Sleep disturbances and frequent waking - Poor concentration - Negativity - Suicidal thoughts - Self harming behaviours It is important to identify the experience of trauma as soon as possible, so that immediate help and ongoing care can be given to ensure minimum psychological impact.

What can I do?

Following a traumatic incident, people identified as being particularly affected can benefit enourmosly from trauma counselling. Trauma counselling and assistance can ensure minimum psychological impact by reducing traumatic stress, speeding the process of regular functioning, and reducing the likelihood of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Other ways of helping reduce trauma symptoms include: - Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine - Avoiding drugs and alcohol, as these have the effect of depressing feelings and can lead to dependency - Maintaining a routine - Balancing healthy eating and relaxation time - Give yourself time to make informed decisions - Talking to others

What is counselling?

Counselling aims to improve individual well-being. It is a process where one person (client) talks to another (counsellor) in confidence about issues or difficulties they experience. The counsellor will assist you to talk about and explore the issue, and develop strategies to cope with the situation or change the situation. Different people seek different outcomes from the counselling process. Because of this, it is important that you take the time to talk to your counsellor about what you are expecting, or hoping for as a result of the counselling process. Carol offers online, telephone and face to face counselling in order to suit each person's individual needs.