Childhood Trauma & Abuse

Hypnotherapy & Counselling for Childhood Trauma & Abuse in Reading, Berkshire

Hope-for-Healing-blog-slide-21

I work with individuals who have experienced abuse or trauma in the past, particularly during childhood.  Counselling can help with finding safe and constructive ways of managing your emotions. Whatever your specific circumstances, I will work with you and support you to feel more empowered, to help you move on, to live your life more fully, and to be free from the trauma that you have suffered.

What is Trauma?

The word trauma is used to describe events that are overwhelmingly stressful, life threatening, and emotionally painful, which leave the individual unable to cope with day to day life. Trauma is a wound, that can be both physical (a visible injury or scar) or emotional (a deep invisible inner pain or suffering).

Traumatic experiences are events that threaten or violate one’s safety, health and integrity. Trauma can have a profound impact on emotional and psychological wellbeing and everyday functioning. If you’ve gone through a traumatic experience, you may be struggling with upsetting emotions, frightening memories or flashbacks, or a feeling of constant danger. All traumatic events can be experienced directly or witnessed as events happening to somebody else. The more frightened, overwhelmed and hopless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatised.

Traumatic situations can be classified as acute or chronic.

Acute Traumatic Events

These are are typically single or one time events and are initially accompanied by intense feelings of shock, fear and helplessness. Some examples of acute traumatic events include accidents, serious injury, natural disasters (e.g. hurricanes, earthquakes), sudden death or loss of a loved one, robbery, violent attacks, sexual assaults or sexual violence such as rape, etc.

Chronic Traumatic Events

These are characterised by repeated and persistent threats, violations of safety and integrity that are experienced over a significant length of time, which are associated with a wide range of complex emotions such as fear, shame, hoplesseness, dissociation, numbness and distrust.  Some examples of chronic situations are dometic abuse, physical, emotional, psychological and/or sexual abuse, neglect, war, and political violence.

Childhood Trauma & Abuse

Experiencing abuse or neglect as a child can have a severe and long lasting effect on the individual’s emotional, physical and mental health. When childhood trauma is not resolved, a sense of fear and helplesness carries over into adulthood.

Childhood trauma results from anything that disrupts a child’s sense of safety and includes any unstable, unsafe or threatening environment. Abuse can take many forms:

  • Physical Abuse

    Physical abuse constitutes acts of physical violence such as hitting, shaking, burning, choking and other actions that can cause physical injury to the body.

  • Sexual Abuse

    Sexual abuse covers all acts that are of a sexual nature including rape, assault, child molestation, incest, and any form of non-consensual sexual contact.

  • Emotional Abuse

    This can be the most difficult to identify because there are usually no outward signs of abuse. Emotional abuse constitutes actions such as being criticised constantly, threatened, bullied, dismissed, or being yelled at. Emotional abuse can be just as painful and damaging as physical abuse.

  • Neglect

    Neglect can occur when adequate food, clothing, warmth, housing, and medical care are not provided in childhood. Additionally, emotional neglect happens when support, love and attention are witheld or not provided.

Whatever the form, emotional, physical/sexual, or psychological, the expereince of childhood abuse is trauma.  Children who are exposed to abuse and trauma may develop what is called a heightened stress response which then impact their ability to regulate their emotions.  Research shows that a combination of any of the above traumatic childhood experiences can increase the risk of future trauma, later in adult life, as a result of increased emotional vulnerability and distress. Surviving abuse or trauma as a child has been linked with higher rates of depression, self-harm, anxiety, eating disorders, suicide, abuse of alcohol and drugs, relationship difficulties e.g. problems with intimacy and trust, as well as with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) e.g. the emotional effects and/or memories of abuse/trauma resurfacing years later.

As each trauma is unique to each individual, the triggers, responses and symptoms are significantly varied. However, there are some common emotional, psychological and physical symptoms of trauma.

Physical Symptoms of Trauma

  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Palpitations or racing heartbeat
  • Aches and pains
  • Edginess and agitation
  • Fatigue
  • Diffculty concentrating
  • Being startled easily
  • Nausea and dizziness

Emotional & Psychological Symptoms of Trauma

Emotional and psychological traumas result from being exposed to profound and prolonged distress in response to overwhelmingly terrifying, unstable and dangerous experiences.

  • Anxiety & fear
  • Feeling disconnected or numb
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Shock, denial or disbelief
  • Explosive or destructive anger and rage
  • Mood swings and feeling low
  • Feeling sad, helpless and hopeless
  • Confusion and unable to find meaning in life
  • Feeling unstable and unsafe
  • Fear of abandonment and rejection
  • Guilt, self-blame and shame
  • Excessive reliance on alcohol, drugs or food to manage feelings
  • Self-harming and  self-destructive behaviours
  • Obsessive compulsive behaviours (OCD)
  • Feelings worthless and unlovable
  • Difficulty in trusting others
  • Pattern of unstable, unsatisfactory or violent relationships
  • Lack of assertiveness skills
  • Lack of boundaries

While these feelings are understandable and normal to abnoral events, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives. Almost everyone who experiences trauma will be emotionally, physically and psychologically affected, but not everyone will respond in the same way. Everyone reacts differently to traumatic experiences and the expression of traumatic stress is influenced by a combination of individual factors such as age, gender, personality, life experience, cultural upbringing, as well as by environmental and social factors.  Reactions can range from mild to severe and can persist for weeks, months and often years after the initial traumatic event.

How can Counselling help with trauma and abuse?

I work with individuals who have experienced abuse or trauma in the past, particularly during childhood.  Counselling can help with finding safe and constructive ways of managing your emotions. Whatever your specific circumstances, I will work with you and support you to feel more empowered, to help you move on, to live your life more fully, and to be free from the trauma that you have suffered.

We can’t change the past but we can end the emotional pain attached to those events that may have robbed the quality of your life. Recovery takes time.  A psychological and emotional wound cannot be forced to heal quickly.  Most sexual abuse experts agree that sexual abuse is never about sex, but more an attempt to gain power over ‘victims’. The counselling process can be described as moving you from a ‘victim of trauma’ to a ‘trauma survivor’, from a sense of worthlessness and powerlessness to valuing yourself and feeling self-empowered.

Counselling allows you to come to terms with your emotional issues and to realise that you have the ability to take back control of your life. Through talking therapy you can begin to transform your experiences and to give some new meaning to both the trauma and yourself as a trauma survivor.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing immediate crisis

you can seek help and support from the

listed organisations, help-lines or support groups

by clicking here

What’s the Next Step?

If you’ve suffered from any type of historical trauma or abuse you may benefit from counselling.  If you would like to discuss your current difficulties then please contact me and I will be more than happy to discuss how I can support you or to answer any questions you might have.  Alternatively, you can request an appointment or book your 30 minutes FREE Initial Consultation by clicking here.

30 minute FREE Initial ConsultationE-mail

To book your FREE consultation or to find out how Counselling and Hypnotherapy in Reading Berkshire can help you,

Please CALL 07846 989439

or send me an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

All enquiries are in the strictest confidence with the highest discretion.

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Quantum Leap Therapy Membership Logos

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Read More Agree