The Importance of Trauma Counseling
Trauma counseling is becoming more and more a part of many other forms of therapy – such as addiction treatment or eating disorders, for example. Many types of behaviors have a traumatic event, or ongoing trauma, at their root. These can be both natural and human generated “disasters”, including anything from an earthquake to the loss of a loved one, or some form of mental or physical abuse. These events create stress which can sometimes lead to a sense of hopelessness and doubt, or a feeling of being in a situation in which the individual has no control over the outcome, which can in turn lead to unhealthy behaviors. In some cases, these behaviors can last long after the event(s) have stopped.
Effective Trauma Counseling
Many people are resilient enough to recover from trauma over time and with the support of family and friends. But for others, the effects of trauma can be lasting, causing them to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or posttraumatic stress, sometimes far after the event has passed. These people need treatment to help eliminate these behaviors. Obviously, in treating the behaviors that are a result of trauma it is necessary to uncover and deal with the root cause. In other words the traumatic event(s) that led to that behavior to begin with. It is not uncommon for people to have buried portions of these events deep in the subconscious, if not the entire event, which is the brain’s way of protecting itself. At Blue Tiger we use the latest psychological techniques, including Somatic Experiencing™ (SE™) therapy, a technique first introduced in the late 90’s that has made huge gains counseling for trauma and in treating PTSD.
Counseling for Trauma with SE™
Somatic Experience™ is based on the understanding that trauma “lives” in the body, and that trauma symptoms are the result of dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), a system that is undermined by the trauma. SE™ works toward resetting, or restoring, the autonomic nervous system.
SE helps the patient become aware of the release off physical tension that remains in the body as part of the aftermath of a traumatic event. This occurs when “survival responses (fight, flight or freeze) are not fully discharged following the event. Through a guided exploration of the physical dysregulation this tension is released. The SE sessions do not focus on talking about the traumatic experiences themselves but, rather, on identifying and regulating the stress by tracking the physical sensations, feelings, thoughts and images that arise through traumatic memories. Through “titration” the client’s experiences small amounts of the event’s distress at a time in order to release the stored energy and allow the nervous system to return to balance.