Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Counselling
Any person involved in a traumatic event, be it the result of an accident, a crime, war or a natural disaster, whether as victim, witness or emergency worker, is likely to experience a measure of shock, anger, discomfort and stress. In many cases a reaction can be expected to manifest itself some considerable time after the occurrence.
The scale of the trauma will be a critical factor but common after effects are anxiety about the possibility of the recurrence of similar events, obsessive caution for themselves and loved ones, constant reminiscing, troubled dreams, exhaustion, restlessness and an inability to concentrate on daily routines. It is normal for those affected to experience feelings of guilt, perhaps for having survived or remaining uninjured, shame, thinking that they could in some way have prevented the disaster or done more to assist those injured, and anger at those, rightly or wrongly, they feel responsible. If the trauma also resulted in a personal bereavement then these reactions will be intensified.
There is no single form of therapy to enable those experiencing a human tragedy to come to terms with its consequences and any recovery may need to take place over an extended period of time. Counselling can offer clients empathy and support in the immediate aftermath of the event but in the longer term I see my role as encouraging clients to find the inner strength to come to terms with the trauma and to find the positive aspects of their lives on which they can build.