Trauma CBT Therapy and Post traumatic stress counselling for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire from our trauma specialists
At Possibilities Trauma Counselling Clinic in Aberdeen, we help you resolve your trauma and related issues with Trauma Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), EMDR, effective therapy coping strategies and recent breakthrough treatments for the healing of trauma. Our integrated embodied approaches helps you reclaim your life.
Many people face the emotional wounds of trauma each day either from childhood or recent events. Trauma responses and post-traumatic stress (PTSD) are difficult to cope with by yourself. Post-traumatic stress is not an illness, it is a natural response to trauma experiences that fragment you. With trauma, time is often not a great healer. But healing can be helped with the right kind of therapies. The therapies we offer are continually ‘enhanced’ with the latest developments in trauma research and therapy methods.
What are the main post-traumatic stress symptoms?
Trauma-related problems and, at the more extreme end, post-traumatic stress, may include combinations of the following:
Reliving the traumatic event
Recurring unwanted and intrusive thoughts, images, memories, re-experiencing past events as if they are occurring in the present and nightmares.
Feeling hyper-alert and ready for danger
Post-trauma stress reactions can trigger feelings of danger where there is none.
Changes with your relationship to your body and body state
Post-traumatic stress reactions are often held in the body and can lead to physical responses like sweating, shaking or nervous twitching, chronic hyperarousal and dissociation. In the long-term this can lead to significant physical health issues.
“Mr Duffy lived a short-distance from his body.” James Joyce, Writer.
Attempting to avoid reminders of the traumatic event
Actively avoiding thinking about the trauma, avoiding reminders of the trauma and avoiding close relationships with those involved are all clear signs that you’re struggling to cope.
Experiencing other emotional reactions
Depression, anxiety, mood swings or emotional numbness, self-blame, blaming others, mistrust, shame, guilt, grief, extreme denial and anger, difficulty calming yourself: all of these emotional reactions can be related to psychological trauma. Anger and shame are especially difficult obstacles for those who need help.
Please note: Different people respond to trauma in different ways. The symptoms above are common and normal emotional responses to shock or trauma of any kind.
What causes trauma-related psychological problems?
A traumatic response does not require experiencing of a major disaster or life-threatening event. Trauma can involve anything that you experience as frightening and totally overwhelming at the time. Once an event is experienced as traumatic, our body and mind automatically set in motion a number of survival based processes out with conscious control. Trauma-related psychological problems and physiological reactions can occur in response to a range of different traumatic experiences, such as:
- Adverse childhood experiences, traumatic loss and disrupted early attachments. Exposure to toxic levels of stress as a child can lead to complex and developmental trauma plus physical and mental health problems later in life.
- Childhood abuse (verbal, emotional, sexual, or physical). Childhood neglect and mistreatment. Childhood insecurities and attachment issues. Being fostered or adopted. Frequent house moves.
- Living in a household with a parental figure with mental health issues, abusing substances (alcohol and drugs), with a history of imprisonment, or with a family member who was abused. Acrimonious parental relationships. Acrimonious separation/divorce.
- Fires. Accidents. Personal injury. Adult abuse. Hospital treatments.
- Rape. Assault. Burglary. Bullying. Violence and discrimination.
- Relationship problems. Domestic abuse (past or current). Broken trust and betrayals. Loss of control and self-harm.
- Military conflicts. Natural disasters.
- Intergenerational trauma: we now know that the effects of trauma are passed down through the generations.
We may also experience significant traumatic responses to loss and bereavement, disturbing and upsetting events, relationship breakdowns, traumatic separations, job loss and witnessing or hearing about a trauma.
The traumatic event may be a single experience, a series of events, or a complex interplay of events. Sometimes, the trauma response occurs immediately after the event and, at other times, it may occur many weeks, months or even years later.
The severity of these problematic reactions varies greatly from person to person. For example, it can leave some people with a few traumatic symptoms and others with many or none.
How common is post-traumatic stress?
Trauma can affect any human being. All of us will experience traumatic events of varying severity in our lifetime, while it’s thought that at least one in seven of us will experience the more extreme post-traumatic stress symptoms at some stage.
“With human relationships, we can both create and destroy, nurture and terrorise, traumatise and heal each other.” Bruce Perry, Psychiatrist
When should you seek trauma therapy?
You should consider seeking trauma therapy when the post-traumatic stress or trauma-related issues are concerning you or interfering with your normal functioning, relationships and daily activities and you would like help from an experienced and qualified therapist to overcome them.
What is Possibilities approach to Trauma?
Rather than being limited to one type of psychotherapy method or another, because one size never fits all, we offer a variety of therapeutic interventions individually fashioned to your particular needs and based on the most recent research and neuroscience. This helps us sort out the best approaches for you.
The approaches offered include: Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (T-CBT), Eye movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Schema Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Compassion-Focused Psychotherapy, Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy plus body-focused psychotherapies and attachment-based approaches.
“What most people do not realise is that trauma is not the story of something awful that has happened in the past, but the residue of imprints left behind in people’s sensory and hormonal systems. Traumatised people often are terrified of the sensations in their own bodies. Most trauma-sensitive people need some form of body-oriented psychotherapy or bodywork to regain a sense of safety in their bodies.” Bessel van der Kolk, Psychiatrist (2014).
We aim to help you develop ways of strengthening and building your sense of safety and inner resources to enable you to process, integrate and heal from your traumatic and stressful experience(s). This is based on a model of positive growth and involves helping you change your relationship with the trauma, learning to manage the effects, such as your body’s responses, and applying various therapeutic techniques to resolve them and build your resilience.
There are few quick fixes or short-cuts to recovery. Although post-traumatic stress disorder therapy can be challenging, our therapists are trained to proceed in safe and compassionate ways, at a gentle pace that you can tolerate and control.
Allow us to reassure you that professional help is at hand. We offer services that aim to reduce the fear and uncertainty about getting help. Arrange an initial consultation ‘taster’ session to discuss your needs, in privacy and comfort, to obtain a sense of how we help and for if this is the right direction for you.
And the day came when the risk (it took) to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
What our previous clients have said
I experienced severe trauma and developed a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which meant I wasn’t coping well with day to day life. With CBT Therapy at Possibilities, I’ve made a number of positive changes. It was a struggle at times but my psychotherapist helped me feel safe and capable as we worked through things. I’m now back at work and my confidence is growing. I have a life again. I’m so glad I took that scary first step and called. If you’re feeling unsure, I highly recommend you call them too.
– JT, Aberdeenshire: Trauma Counselling Aberdeen.
I thought my life wasn’t worth living. My depression convinced me I was worthless and useless and my situation was hopeless. If you’re feeling something similar, go to Possibilities. They made an enormous difference to my life and they can do the same for you.
– AD, Aberdeen: Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy for Depression.
My relationship with my partner has vastly improved. We’re more able to communicate and we’re spending more time together and having fun! I can’t believe we were on the verge of separating when we contacted Possibilities as a last resort. I can’t thank them enough.
– SMcM, Aberdeenshire: Couples Counselling Aberdeen.
Possibilities was outstanding. I’ve overcome my anxiety and have the tools to keep it at bay should I need them in the future.
– MK, Aberdeen: CBT Therapy for Anxiety.
Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.