Most of us experience trauma of one kind or another during our lifetime. It just seems built into existence. Indeed research suggests that from 50% to 90% of us will have to cope with trauma at one time or another.
Psychological trauma is always the product of an experience that leaves the individual feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with or fully process the emotions produced by that experience.
With trauma, the subconscious mind has been shocked by an event, or a series of events, and this has profoundly affected the functioning of the individual.
Important and powerful though it undoubtedly is for the traumatized person, on a psychological level the actual experience itself seems to matter less than the individual’s perception and response to that experience. This explains why a similar event may very well be shrugged off by one person yet creates real difficulty in another. What may be a traumatic experience for one may not be traumatic for another.
Trauma itself can happen at any time on the life journey. It may take place in childhood, and occur as a result of experiencing or witnessing psychological or physical abuse, or extreme poverty, for example, and it can leave the child traumatised well into adulthood.
Or the trauma may have happened later in life, having its origins in abuse, accident, violence, crime, war, death or natural disaster. Difficult though trauma may be, around 8% of the population will develop the more devastating form and symptoms of trauma known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
Left untreated, PTSD can have truly dire consequences for the individual, seriously affecting his or her relationships and ability to function on a work or an interpersonal level. PTSD often results from an experience or experiences that threatened real physical harm. Sometimes, however, it can be caused by psychological and emotional trauma where there was no actual implication of physical harm. Very often, though, it combines aspect of both of these.
While Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is in fact a chronic and severe emotional response to trauma, it differs from traumatic stress or combat stress in that it is usually much more intense and not at all transitory in nature. In the past, PTSD was also known as shell shock, battle fatigue, and post traumatic stress syndrome.
It isn’t necessary to have been in a war setting to experience PTSD, however, any real shock to the system – such as a car accident or a death, drug addiction or sexual assault – can bring it about. But whatever the cause, the resultant trauma symptoms are real and distressing for the person forced to experience them.
Those suffering from this kind of trauma may experience chronic and acute anxiety, anger, disturbed sleep, disruptive thoughts, flashbacks or nightmares. Often they find it very difficult to talk about the events that caused the trauma. Because of their disturbing nature, they find it difficult or impossible to effectively deal with and integrate these things on the subconscious level of the mind.
And this is where skilfully applied transformational hypnotherapy can be enormously useful, providing a trauma treatment that can lead to a full trauma recovery. In the hands of the skilled hypno-psychotherapst, the individual’s subconscious mind can be helped to reprocess the traumatic experience so that its consequences become far less harmful and troubling.
The fact is that, despite the fearful expectations and beliefs instilled during the traumatic experience itself, the person did survive. He or she did in fact make it through. With the correct trauma therapy the actual facts of the traumatic experience remain, but the perception and the psychological disruptions once caused by those facts are forever altered.
Real and effective trauma treatment requires that the individual come to terms with what has happened so that he or she is then able to then let it go and move on with their life. Of course, letting go does not mean that the traumatised person has to forget what has happened. Yet it does very often mean that the person has to be helped to forgive any aggressor or any individual who may have been actively involved in the traumatic experience.
This is not for any religious reasons. Nor is it through any form of altruism. It is simply because failure to do this simply keeps the person in bondage to the past, maintaining and supporting the damage – the continuing trauma stress, the ongoing emotional and mental trauma.
It needs to be stressed that forgiveness is for the traumatised person. It is not necessarily for the person or people who may have been responsible for causing the trauma. Indeed, very often the person or persons responsible for this remain forever unaware of the forgiveness.
But through real forgiveness the traumatised person is released and set free. With the guidance of transformational hypnotherapy, the individual is shown how to forgive the past and in so doing heal and move on with their life.
If you or someone you care about is suffering from the truly devastating and debilitation effects of trauma, there really is something that can be done about it. Working with a properly qualified and experienced transformational hypnotherapist you can put the nightmare of trauma behind you and move on with the life that has been put on hold.
With the right kind of help, you really can experience true trauma recovery and set yourself free of the experiences of the past.
About the Author:
Peter Field is a leading British hypno-psychotherapist with busy practices in London and Birmingham, England. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Health and Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.