What is trauma and common reactions?
Trauma is an emotional reaction to experiencing or witnessing a distressing event. Common reactions to trauma can include:
- Shock, denial, guilt, anger, fear and confusion
- Feelings of helplessness, shame, failure and inadequacy
- Anxiety and depression
- Emotional reactivity and withdrawal resulting in strained relationships
- Difficulty with memory and concentration
- Intrusive thoughts and images of the event
- Feeling restless and agitated
- Feeling tired, nauseated, headaches and poor sleep
- Avoidance of distressing memories, thoughts, feelings or external reminders of the event
Children and Trauma
Working with children who have experiences of relational trauma
The effects of relational trauma on children and young people can be profound and can challenge any parent/carer, also impacted and trying to figure out how to respond. As a child and family therapist, my approach is not only to help the child recover but help utilise and grow the family’s resources and abilities to respond, repair and recover together over time.
“Troubled children are in some kind of pain – and pain makes children irritable, anxious and aggressive” (Bruce Perry)
What are the signs my child might be affected by traumatic events?
In short every child is different. What is useful is to notice reactions and changes in behaviour – including; appetite changes, changes in sleep patterns, anxiety, tension, headaches, crying, depression, anger or short tempered, hyperactivity or mood swings, difficulty concentrating, numbness, apathy and re-enactments (e.g in play/drawing). If reactions and behaviour changes persist or are extreme please feel able to contact me.
If you, as a parent have questions, doubts and/or concerns consider booking an appointment with me. Knowledge is power: the more informed you are and the more you understand your child, the better you can provide them with the support, nurturing and guidance they need.
Adults and Trauma
Michael is trained in a variety of trauma informed treatments to assist adults with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression. These treatments have been helpful for people who have experienced abuse and trauma, domestic violence, victims of crime, intrusive medical interventions, unresolved grief and loss, separation and divorce, and parents whose ‘buttons’ get pushed by their children and others in their life.
Michael has helped us to communicate with each other. He has turned us from a lost family into a real family again. He listens and has such an understanding even if we can’t express it, he gets it anyway. We still have scars but he has healed the wounds. We couldn’t have got through without his help (Sam, Mother to 11yr old son, 9 yr old daughter and 6 yr old son).
I confidently recommend Michael in the knowledge that he has the specialised skills and expertise resulting for clients in the release from affects and impact of being stuck in the cycle of trauma, physical and emotional pain and anxiety including PTSD. Clients report that whilst they may have memories and recall of what previously have been frightening and crippling traumatic life events, that they no longer experience them with dread, fear or panic and emotional dysregulation. (Susan, Family Support Worker – YAC)
Michael helped me feel more confident as a parent. My child has improved her life and she is a happy kid again (Nene, Mother to 10 yr old daughter).