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Trauma Therapy(13 Posts)
Does anyone one else have an immensely difficult time, opening up and talking about trauma? I've just restarted therapy with a therapist I've seen before for depression last year, and I just can't seem to get the words out. I've managed to tell my GP that I've suffered trauma consistent with the PTSD criteria, but that's all. I guess I'm just too afraid to go there, but it's not really an option now. My quality of life has diminished so much now due to PTSD, and yet I'm too much of a coward to even engage with the treatment. I just want to run very far away from all of this.
Yes! I know how you feel! I've never truly been able to speak about my trauma. Have you ever tried EMDR therapy. It's widely used to treat trauma. It's tough going but I definitely think it helps in the long run. My therapist is very good, it's all about how I feel and how I process things. I don't have to tell her exactly what happened, it'sall about me processing it and getting to a more positive outlook. It's definitely worth a try if you've not tried it before and find conventional methods make things worse.
Thanks for replying
My therapist is trained in EMDR, one of the main reasons I was sent back to him. Unfortunately he's told me I'm too unstable, and high risk to undergo it at present. Until we find a way to stabilise me, I'm stuck with trauma-focused cbt, which I'm really struggling with. Plus it's NHS, so only 12 sessions, which makes me feel pressurised into talking before I feel ready, although intellectually I know I need to. It's all just a bit of mess really.
I'm sorry to hear that. Any chance you could go private? I was seeing an NHS counsellor and she wanted me to try EMDR but was adamant Id get through everything in one session - despite there being at least 6 traumatic periods in my life. The fact she thought that and that by that stage I only had 3 sessions left made me stop it and invest in private counselling. If you do have that option it's worth it as you're then allowing yourself time to deal with things properly.
The nhs will extend the 6/12 sessions (but don't like you to know that) so please try and take away the stress of how many sessions are left etc.
Secondly, do you want to talk but physically can't get the words out? If that's the case could you write it down instead? I know with PTSD it's not always helpful to talk too much too soon and it can open up that can of worms. If he thinks you're too unstable to cope with that that could be sensible advice to address other less traumatic issues in your life and then to go back to it when you've got some trust.
I hope things improve for you soon, it's a horrible place to be
Thanks for the replies.
I can afford to go private, but I do have a pretty good connection to the therapist I have - I think he has private clients as well as NHS ones, so it's something I can ask him. It's also good to know I may get more sessions through the nhs, I'll try to stop panicking about that
I have tried numerous times to write even small parts of it down, I find it triggers me enormously - just seeing the words on the page fills me with fear. I've spent so many years avoiding my thoughts and feelings about what happened. It now somehow feels like a completely insurmountable challenge that I have no chance of overcoming. I honestly thought that asking for help would be the hardest part. I'm starting to wish I hadn't mentioned the nightmares to my gp, sometimes ignorance is bliss, well a slightly more bearable existence.
I am afraid I have nothing to say that will help but I completely empathise with the feeling of 'why the hell did I start down this road when all it does is make me feel worse'. I was OK before, but actually I was OK before I got so bad I had to do some thing about it, which I conveniently forget. I don't know if getting better is a goal just coping better and treading the line between head in the sand ignoring the past versus facing down a tiny little bit to see if that will reduce the size of the monster.
Speaking from experience, don't push yourself to talk about the trauma if you are not ready. If not done carefully it can retraumatise you. I saw a very good councellor first who said that with trauma traditional councelling can make things worse. She said it is important with trauma to keep people in an area where they feel safe in what they are talking about, she was just doing trauma training though and felt out of her depth. She refered me to a psychologist, who wanted me to talk and asked loads of questions and made me feel 10x worse. She was hoping he would do EMDR or refer me to someone who would, but he decided not as he said the cause of my trauma was likely to recur (its a very real posibility). I went to see an NLP ( neurolinguistic programming ) therapist privately who did something called Eye Movement Integration ( similar to EMDR I think) with me which resolved all my symptoms of PTSD in 1 session and I was finally abke to think about and talk about the trauma, it was still emotional, but manageble. I went back to the psychologist for my next session told him about the EMI talked through everything and he said that it seemed that I had turned a corner and discharged me.
The thing that worked for me with the EMI was not having to talk about the trauma. I highly reccommend it, it was like a magic wand, all the anxiety, flashbacks and pannic attacks stopped immediately and havent returned.
Hi Rek. It's really hard and there's no easy answer- I planned to talk one day about four months ago finally about the trauma, and then put myself under tremendous pressure - (it felt like I had to talk about it, and as if I had to sort of take the floor and just come out with it ) to talk on that day and then couldn't speak, literally couldn't speak due to fear, a sort of stuck stage fright, fear of breaking down too much, fear of the consequences after the trigger for the next few days and lack of trust that all this would be containable and the therapist would be able to help me once the can of worms was indeed open. In the end I sat there in an excruciating paralysis , angry at my therapist for putting me through it etc etc. even though I didn't go through it, in fact hardly spoke, this still triggered a big anxiety and autonomic response and triggered a dramatic breakdown at work the next day. In the end, we put it on hold, and have had to talk around it, talk about bits of it, and kept it manageable more or less. Sometimes I want to talk, and then am triggered a lot, so then we leave it to settle. Be guided by your instinct, explain you think it's too much, and build trust, build coping skills, talk around it in a gentle way because that's ok. And you need to have a plan for if the therapy triggers a lot of distress. Your therapist sounds sensible.
I haven't had EMI, but I know that EMDR can be triggering.
wooley you've just described what my psychology sessions turned into after he had badly triggered me, I couldn't trust him enough to talk and just zoned out to cope with my sessions and therefore got no benefit. So glad I swapped therapist, makes me feel sick just thinking about it.
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