Why Counselling Is So Important For People With Trauma

Published on March 8, 2019

Experiencing a traumatic event can take its toll not only on your physical well-being but on your mental state as well. Trauma is an emotional response that occurs after witnessing or going through overwhelming situations, such as a natural disaster, accidents, or war. Counselling is a useful tool to help patients heal and overcome the hurdles they face after the event.

 

Here are the reasons why going through counselling is essential for people with trauma:

 

1. Prevent a downward spiral through professional help

 

Often, people with trauma go through a denial phase where they believe that they can return to their normal state of mind on their own. While it may be true for some, most patients eventually fall into a downward spiral that could have been prevented if they only sought professional help at an earlier time.

 

Counsellors can help spot the signs of trauma such as:

 

  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Depression
  • Despair
  • Violence toward others or the self
  • Loss of purpose in life
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Night terrors or flashbacks
  • Substance or drug abuse
  • Isolation or emotional detachment

 

2. Experience personalized care through therapy

 

There are different types of techniques used in counselling patients with trauma such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT, exposure therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR, psychodynamic trauma therapy, and group therapy. A counsellor can explain the benefits that each of these methods can provide and implement the one that is best suited for their client.

 

These are the therapies used for treating trauma:

 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – The primary principle of CBT is that the individual’s thoughts significantly affect their behaviour. Thus, learning to reshape the way you think can help you overcome your body’s adverse reactions to traumatic memories.

 

Exposure Therapy – Here, patients are gradually exposed to things, objects, or places that trigger an overwhelming emotional response. Eventually, the conditioning that previously occurred with these activators will be replaced with the knowledge that they don’t automatically lead to the traumatic event.

 

EMDR – It involves eight phases where a licensed EMDR clinician asks the patient to recall the traumatic event while simultaneously tracking the therapist’s hand or light that’s moving back and forth like in typical hypnosis enactments. It is during this time that the client can process the memory and cope with the painful feelings associated with it.

 

Psychodynamic Trauma Therapy – The goal of this therapy is to identify the traumatic response stage that the patient is stuck in. Once this has been achieved, the therapist can pinpoint which aspects of the event hinder the processing and healing of the trauma.

 

Group Therapy – Group therapy is effective in making patients feel that they are not alone in their journey. There are various groups that you can join depending on which stage of recovery you’re focusing on such as safety, remembering, and reconnection.

 

3. Encourage recovery through prescribed medication

 

Because trauma can lead to physical and emotional responses that are so devastating to patients, they have difficulty in living their daily lives. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication to alleviate symptoms such as anxiety and depression. These drugs are valuable for counselees who are unable to function at all because of the triggers surrounding them. Moreover, going through counselling can reduce the risk of abusing these prescribed drugs since the therapist can monitor your consumption.

 

Most common medication for trauma includes:

 

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors – Also known as SSRIs, this medication allows serotonin to be more prevalent in the body by blocking the reuptake process or return of the chemical from its source. The neurotransmitter primarily contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being.

 

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors – These are often recommended for treating depressed patients as well as those with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, chronic neuropathic pain, and menopausal symptoms. It works similar to SSRIs but involves the norepinephrine transporter, which controls the body’s reaction to stressful situations.

 

Atypical Antipsychotics – This group of drugs is used for the treatment of psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. They can also be prescribed for agitation caused by dementia and anxiety disorder.

 

Alpha Blockers – Alpha blockers are primarily used to dilate the blood vessels; thus improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure. It also works as a muscle relaxant.

 

Conclusion

 

When you’ve gone through stressful situations such as catastrophic events or abuse, it’s best to seek professional help like with endeavourwellness.com.au. This way, you can be sure that you get high-quality care from counsellors who are equipped with the necessary skills and training. With their help, you can face your fears and conquer your demons.


Category(s):Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD

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