Trauma Psychotherapy Dublin: The experience of trauma is about one thing; invasion.
Like a house with a garden surrounding it, our body has one boundary of our skin and another surrounding us that alerts us when our personal space is being encroached. This is why if someone is walking behind us we become aware of it quickly.
A traumatic experience is when these two boundaries are broken. Not only is this is a distressing experience but, in an on-going way, we also become highly anxious and lose our sense of safety and danger. We feel we are in danger all the time. Like a house alarm that is constantly ringing gets ignored, our instinct for when we are in danger becomes ineffective. Not being able to distinguish between safety and danger exposes us to further danger.
When we experience invasion, like a burglary, being hit by a car or sexual assault, our nervous system will ‘freeze’, called tonic immobility. Our brain and body will become suspended through the experience. This is our system’s anaesthetic, to protect us.
But, of course, everything in life is a double-edged sword. While it protects us, it leaves the experience in our body and mind UNPROCESSED. This leaves our body and mind reacting as if the experience IS STILL HAPPENING.
Trauma Psychotherapy Dublin
Trauma psychotherapy is about processing the charge left in our body/mind. This will put the experience back ‘outside’ of ourselves. In turn, this restores our personal boundaries and returning to us our sense of safety. Only when we know safety again can we distinguish between safety and danger. And only then can we protect ourselves properly, enhancing our sense of safety.
If this article resonates with you, or you have some questions, feel free to book an appointment with me.
For a wider description of how psychotherapy works, and to see my own availability for psychotherapy, check out https://thomaslarkin.ie/psychotherapy-counselling-dublin/