Have you experienced a traumatic event - one that lies out with the range of normal human experience?
PostTraumatic Stress is the normal reaction of normal people to abnormal events. It can influence your feelings about yourself and others and can affect other aspects of your life. The experiences you have in the beginning are perfectly normal although they may not feel like it. Normal feelings include fear, helplessness, sadness, longing, guilt, shame, bad memories and anger. You may find yourself avoiding places or people or even feelings, again all a normal part of processing your trauma. You may experience a high arousal state like being jumpy, not being able to relax or you burst into tears; you may experience a change physically and have sensations like shakes, backache and sleeplessness. You may find yourself re-experiencing the trauma either in nightmares, flashbacks and/or dreams. It can all feel overwhelming and scary but it is a normal process you are going through in response to an abnormal event.
How can counselling help?
Counselling allows you the time and space to normalise all the different reactions you are having and to work through what has happened to you. It allows you to make sense of it all, to understand your feelings and to look to the future.
Counselling enables you to look at coping positively with the normal reactions and gives you a sense that you are not alone with intense reactions and feelings as someone understands what you are going through.
If after a period of approximately one month you are still experiencing intrusive symptoms, avoidant behaviours, physical symptoms and/or an impairment to your social functioning, you may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Critical Incident Debriefing
If you have experienced a traumatic event often what can help you normalise what has happened is C. I. Debriefing. This IS NOT a counselling session but a structured debrief which will allow you to talk about what has happened in a structured way. It allows you to discuss what happened, what your feelings were at the time, emotional reactions, how you feel now and what are the positives/negatives. The debrief is brought to an end by looking to the future and normally the session takes 2-3 hours. It is recommended that a follow up session takes place.