Why uncertainty feels different for traumatised people!

The world is full of uncertainty at the moment. At the time of writing, we are in the thick of the coronavirus outbreak. Understandably it's worrying times for everyone as we have no idea how it will all pan out. However, if you've been traumatised in the past, it's likely to feel more intense. Why uncertainty feels different for traumatised people. For people who haven't had long term affects of trauma, you ultimately have faith in yourself and those around you that you can handle the stress that's around. If you experienced an event(s) which turned your life upside down, you didn't feel supported and the stress didn't go away then national emergencies, like the coronavirus, will likely trigger anxiety in a flash.

Do these sound familiar? Desperately searching for answers.

Constantly reading and watching news reports.

Always seeking reassurance from family and friends.

Becoming highly irritable and angry when you don't find what you are looking for. That's because your natural internal compass that regulates stress was blown to pieces. The event(s) that took place didn't make sense and nothing took the horrible feelings away. So now you automatically look for outside support rather than internal. The trouble is outside sources, even reassurance by family and friends, doesn't appease that anxiety for very long. This is because the feeling your brain and body is searching for is trust and security, and no one but yourself can give you those feelings, which result in long lasting peace of mind.

What do I mean by trust and security?

When the rug was pulled from under your feet in your traumatic experience, your brain couldn't compute what was going on quick enough. Nothing made sense. Your trust in a person/people and/or your environment was shattered to tiny pieces. In the days, weeks, months following you didn't receive the support you so desperately wanted (I'm not blaming those around at that time, they may of very well been doing their best to help but your brain wasn't receiving those messages).

This all means that your instinctual 'resilience' to stress has been overridden by the memories and feelings of that trauma. So each time you now feel uncertain about a situation your survival instinct takes over. You don't trust your feelings and reactions, therefore you look for answers outside yourself.

How do you tune into your natural resilience to stress?

I truly believe my three step process:- calm, process, evolve. This is adapted from Jean Piaget's theory in the early 20th century, so it's nothing new but something we are not taught as part of western society. There is still that Victorian belief that we should just be able to pull up our socks and get on with life!

With clients I help calm the nervous system (which is on overdrive) with understanding the past plus tools and resources. We then look to process the stressful events, through specialist techniques like EMDR to get the memories filed up to correct place so it no longer feels like yesterday and then we look at how you want to live life in the future and how you can evolve and grow from your trauma.

This process uncovers your natural resilience in a way that feels safe and realistic. Once that alarm system is calmed down it's amazing what solutions clients instinctively discover for themselves and you can access that peace of mind you have been yearning for.

How I can help

I see clients on a one to one basis from my home or online at my private practice in south Cheshire. Every client is different and I tailor my trauma therapy to you and your experiences. Contact me today to see if I'm the right counsellor for you.

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