Many people who seek counselling have experienced some form of trauma in their past. This could be due to issues that happened in their childhood such as sexual or physical abuse, bullying at school, their parents divorce, or due to a bereavement. They could have experienced the trauma as an adult due to an assault a either sexual or physical, an accident such as a road traffic accident, or due to health issues such as a diagnosis of cancer.

These traumas are often fairly obvious and the client may well come for Trauma Counselling Kelowna as a result of experiencing one or more of these “big” traumas. However behind many other common presenting issues that clients bring such as anxiety, depression or difficulties in relationships, there are often traumas that have not been identified. These might be due to difficult experiences at school where someone was humiliated, or due to over critical parenting or many other experiences which might be dismissed as “normal”. However any painful experience can act as a trauma which can affect us later in life.

Often when counselling someone who has been traumatised the first part of the work might be to identify that they have been traumatised and what the trauma is. This process often involves an exploration of their presenting issues so that patterns of behaviour can be identified which contribute to the problem. This often leads to an exploration of where these patterns originated, which often does lead back to some form of trauma. For example someone who is having difficulties with a colleague at work: the initial exploration may lead to a realisation that they experience this colleague as being a bully, in this situation it is often the case that they have been bullied at school. In this situation helping the person identify that they are possibly responding to the situation based on the old trauma can help them to identify ways of dealing with the current situation better.

However sometimes this approach is not sufficient because the effects of the past trauma are very widespread or particularly debilitating. In this situation the work might then entail using an approach such as eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing or EMDR.


By Olivia

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