trauma 

Psychological or emotional trauma can be experienced when an extremely distressing event occurs. Traumatic experiences don't necessarily involve physical harm: any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can be traumatic. It’s not the objective facts that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event: the more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatised. 

Emotional trauma can result from anything that disrupts your sense of safety, including: bullying, death, divorce, physical pain or injury, illness, loss of a relationship, significant humiliation, medical procedure, physical punishment, an unstable or unsafe environment, witnessing an accident, natural disasters, terrorism, moving location, separation from a parent, witnessing violence, rape, grooming, sexual abuse, domestic abuse and neglect.

While traumatic events can happen to anyone, there are risk factors that make some of us more likely to experience psychological trauma following a disturbing event. You’re more likely to be traumatised if you’re already under a heavy stress load, have recently suffered a series of losses or have been traumatised before, especially if the earlier trauma occurred in childhood. 

symptoms of trauma

While everyone responds differently, there are a range of common symptoms that you may experience following a traumatic event.

Emotional issues such as anxiety, panic attacks, fearfulness, loss of control, feelings of guilt, irritability, anger, resentment, spontaneous crying, despair and hopelessness, emotional numbness, withdrawal from normal routine and feeling isolated from others.

Physical issues such as exhaustion, eating disturbances, poor digestion, sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction and chronic pain.

Cognitive issues including memory lapses, difficulty making decisions, decreased ability to concentrate or feeling distracted.

Coping mechanisms such as self harm, alcohol and drug use, suicidal behaviours or compulsive behaviours are common responses to trauma. 

For some, symptoms take weeks, months or years to surface. For others, different symptoms may be experienced at different times throughout the healing process. PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is where the symptoms of emotional trauma are severe and persistent enough to significantly impact daily life. 


As we all react differently to these types of events, it is important not to compare yourself to other people, even if they went through the same experience. By getting help as soon as you need it, you will be giving yourself the best chance to overcome any issues and move on with your life.

how I can help

Trauma focussed therapy involves building up a relationship of trust and building up resources to help you cope with symptoms. We may, for example, explore triggers and tools for managing panic attacks. For some people, targeting specific traumas may be beneficial.  We may choose to use EMDR (Eye movement, Desensitisation and Reprocessing) to aid recovery. EMDR is recommended by mental health authorities such as NICE (National Institure for Health and Care Excellence) and by the World Health Organisation for treatment of trauma symptoms. It incorporates elements of talking therapy with eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left-right stimulation that can "unfreeze" and re-process traumatic memories.

One of the most important aspects of trauma therapy is that you feel as safe as you can. That's why we will take therapy at a pace that feels right for you.