Anxiety & Trauma

Anxiety and trauma are not the same but they can have similar qualities – they both can affect a person’s capacity to cope with daily tasks.

CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is traditionally the therapy used to assist people with anxiety. It helps people identify their feelings and thoughts and how they affect the way they respond to things in their lives. It aims to help people change unhelpful thoughts, by assessing the evidence for their way of thinking, that may be well supported by another more positive way of thinking. It helps people reframe the way that events are perceived.

Developments in the understanding of the brain from a neuroscience perspective has offered new opportunities for working with people who suffer from anxiety and even more so with trauma and post-traumatic Stress.

The Body Remembers, the title of a book by Rothschild (2000), highlights the body mind link and gives us an understanding of why smells, sounds, and visual stimulation reminds us of past events or past times. Sometimes there is a feeling that is triggered but it does not always bring vivid memory of the event itself.

These sensory triggers can alert the survival part of your brain into ‘high alert’ mode. You may have heard the term ‘flight or fight’ mode. Suddenly you might notice that your heart is beating fast, or your chest feels tight, or you feel flushed and it’s not clear why. It can feel quite disconcerting and definitely out of your comfort zone.

As the memory attached to the feeling is not retrievable – it is not always necessary to go back to the trauma itself to help you deal with these feelings.

It is possible to learn to divert these feelings with increased awareness of any early warning signs, by taking some a gentle deep breaths – “breath in deeply, gently and breath out slowly through your mouth” this will start to slow down these escalated body responses – the outward breath particularly will slow down your pulse rate.

Then it is possible to allow the body to regain itself and allow the thinking part of your brain to engage…….

So much has been learned about anxiety and trauma and if you want to know more or experience some relief from your anxiety or trauma make an appointment to see Di…..

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