tel: 042 9331803
mob: 086 0381073

A kind of trauma.

Psychotherapy,Trauma — admin @ 10:26 am

Here at Counselling Connections this week we have been talking about trauma. We are all familiar with the effects of a single, catastrophic event and we have no difficulty understanding how such a trauma can send your body into shock. This can lead to flashbacks and difficulty sleeping as well as quite strong anxiety. The event which caused the trauma looms large in our minds sometimes even after the passage of a good deal of time. This kind of trauma can be worked through in counselling and it is possible to recover well quite quickly. Sometimes when we are working through a trauma that has a single obvious cause we find traces of previous, more subtle traumas. These other kinds of trauma will have created their own difficulties and it is these that we want to talk about this week.

What we are describing are effects of trauma that have come about as a result of a series of smaller events. These can be more difficult to recall because they often lack the sudden impact of a larger traumatic event. It can also be confusing to look back on because it is one of the characteristics of these types of events that we try to play down their importance. There are often day to day events which we simply adapted our selves to. It is in these adaptations that the problem can be found. They are stories from what is often initially referred to as a normal childhood.

As children if what we have to say or how we feel is not received well, not welcomed in our environment, we will adapt. We will learn to say things and maybe even begin to learn to feel things which we know are accepted. These responses are to the ordinary day to day admonishments of parents to a child that rise in intensity to the point where they are consistently delivered too harshly. In this way we develop a false self. It is probably fair to say that we all have a false self to a greater or lesser extent. We do not say how we feel all of the time in every situation. But as a child, if our playful expression is met with a consistent harsh response we will experience these as a series of traumas and react accordingly.

We become accustomed to reacting in a way which is in keeping with the family culture. We do not consider what may be right for our own self but rather how our interaction will be received. We can grow up then without really knowing how to get in touch with our own self or even how we feel. This can leave us as adults with feelings of being detached or with difficulty in forming close relationships. It can also leave us feeling dissatisfied with life because we have learned to adapt to others without any account of what may be right for us. We then have to go about undoing the habit of a lifetime.

Again and again we see examples of a life lived under the stifling influence of an overly harsh parent. This can leave us fearful and inhibited and feeling unable to get in touch with what we would like to achieve. Indeed, it can leave us unable to consider that there might be any value in something which might come from our own self so accustomed have we become to adapting our wishes to those others. It can take some time in therapy to work through the events that led to this situation. This may be accompanied by the re-emergence of strong feelings that have been buried away for years. This process continues with beginning to find some confidence in our self and our ability to find our own way in the world. The hope is that this way will lead to a more fulfilled and contented way of being in our personal and professional lives.

Counselling Connections, Dundalk.

Copyright © 2011 Counselling Connection, designed by Aura Internet Services