Trauma & crisis
We have experience working with clients in a range of post-trauma situations from the military, industrial accidents, terrorist incidents, natural disasters to assualts and abuse (verbal, sexual and psychological).
But we also appreciate those who work in the helping professions can find themselves affected by compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatisation, burnout and moral distress. This can build up slowly over time but still have a massive impact on how you cope with life in your profession.
Every situation and person is unique, so we explore what support will work with you best, ranging from coping with post-trauma reactions, generating a narrative and meaning of the trauma and integrating yourself back into the here-and-now. Or it can be about developing a personal resilience plan.
But get in touch with us and we can let you know if we think we can help or not.
In the meantime, here's a brief overview from The Crisis Book, reproduced with permission and thanks;
We all respond to traumatic events in different ways. Some build up resilience from previous events, but for others, one event can trigger more severe conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Even people who regard themselves as having a “strong personality” don’t necessarily fare better than those who don’t.
People who experience a traumatic incident sometimes experience a series of psychological and physical symptoms. These are often normal responses to abnormal events and usually subside in time. The psychological symptoms include numbness, anxiety, guilt, anger, shock, low mood, social withdrawal, flashbacks and avoiding reminders associated with the event. Physical symptoms include poor concentration, fatigue, sleep problems and nightmares, feeling “on edge”, neck tension, aches and pains.
Time. It really does take time. But if, after a month, you’re still affected by the event, then it might be prudent to visit your medical doctor or refer yourself to a trauma therapist.
Reconnect. The temptation may be to withdraw from normal activities, but that can make you feel more isolated. Keep up social contact and re-engage with people close to you.
Routine. Although your mind may become fixated on what’s happened, keep to a regular routine including sleep, a good diet and exercise, as this gives structure, purpose and self-motivation.
Work. You might find you will be unable to go to work in the short term and indeed, there can be good reason to have a short break and recharge your batteries. But going back to work gives you a connection with your work colleagues and a routine. If the trauma happened at work, you may need to explore how best to reintegrate back to work. Your boss, Occupational Health or Human Resources departments may be able to help.
Positive activities. If you enjoy nonwork activities, such as a sport, hobby or pastime, then re-engaging in them can help.
Avoid self-medicating. Drinking alcohol and taking drugs may give a sense of a temporary reprieve, but long term they often worsen the effects of trauma by making you feel depressed, anxious, tired and lonely.
Acknowledge. Feelings and emotions often increase in intensity, but this is normal. You may experience sudden emotional outbursts, but acknowledging this as part of the process will help you release and ventilate emotions and prevent them from building up inside you.
Denial. The majority of people will experience some trauma symptoms for a short period of time and these will lessen. Some may experience absolutely nothing. This can be normal too, but it’s worth monitoring how you react and to be on guard that you’re not denying any adverse responses.
Self-care. Create some space where you can relax, take some time out and monitor your own needs.
Post-traumatic growth. Many people who have gone through a horrific experience often find that their perspective in life changes. They value things differently and appreciate life more. This is an unexpected and sometimes positive consequence of a trauma.