The word trauma often conjures up the image of something physical; broken limb, cut, car accident etc. This is trauma, it’s physical trauma.
There is another trauma that is far bigger and more widespread than physical trauma, this is psychological trauma. Psychological trauma and its effects can be seen everywhere and in all walks of life. It manifests as stress, anger, depression, anxiety, PTSD and many other things.
Psychological trauma can be caused by many events such as physical and mental abuse, severe stress etc. it’s hard to define trauma as it appears in many different ways and it is caused by many different things.
One definition of trauma is a stressful occurrence that is outside the range of usual human experience, and that would be markedly distressing to almost anyone (DSM III, Revised Edition 1993). This definition encompasses unusual experiences such as serious threat to one’s life or physical integrity; serious threat or harm to one’s children, spouse, or other close relatives or friends; sudden destruction of one’s home or community; seeing another person who is or has been seriously injured or killed as the result of an accident or physical violence.
This is a useful description but it is also vague and misleading. After all what is outside the range of usual human experience or markedly destressing to someone (Peter A Levine, Waking the Tiger). We are all different and experiencing life differently to each other. What might be considered outside the usual human experience for one person might not be for another person.
Traumatic symptoms as we have said can be many and varied but they are all caused by the fact that the body is stuck in survival mode.
When you have a stressful or traumatic event in your life your body goes into the flight, fight or freeze mode. You can either run away, fight the event or freeze. In order to do this several things, happen; blood is taken from the brain and goes to the muscles as you need them more. This means that in this state it is hard to think because thinking can slow you down and kill you. Blood is also taken from the gut as you don’t need the gut to flight, fight or freeze. The muscles are also flooded with hormones to prepare the muscles to spring into action, the muscles are tense, wound up and ready for action. once the event is over the brain turns the event into a memory and everything goes back to calm.
There are times when the brain does not turn the events into a memory and you therefore play these events continually in your mind, consciously and, or subconsciously. This means that your body is in a constant state of flight, fright or freeze. When you are like this you can’t think clearly and you probably have digestive problems as there is no proper supply of blood to the brain or gut. You probably have stiff muscles and headaches because your muscles are continuously tense to explode into action. you are in a continual state of survival!
When you are in a continuous state of survival the symptoms are many and manifest as anger, stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, auto-immune problems and many more. The big question is how do you get off this roundabout of continual survival?
Peter Levine in his book, Waking the Tiger says that two things need to happen; the body and brain need to know that it is over and you are safe and that you have control over the past stressful or traumatic events. they do not have control over you. This is also reinforced by Bessel van der Kolk in his book The Body Keeps the Score.
The Richards Trauma Process utilises hypnosis to achieve this. The process also allows this to be achieved quickly and effectively. In just three to four visits with a week between visits the unresolved stressful or traumatic events of the past can be resolved. The beauty about this process is that you are not required to go into past stressful or traumatic events in detail. You do go back to past events but you go back empowered, you go back not as a victim but as a victor.
You go back with hypnosis so it is perfectly safe. The unresolved events in your subconscious are resolved and you are able to come back to balance.
If you would like more details about this process, contact us for a complimentary strategy session.
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