CBT for Emotional Trauma
Emotional trauma can be devastating for you and those around you. There are some suggestions here for ways you might try to heal yourself, as well as an introduction to the therapy I can use if you decide to seek my assistance as a trained professional.
Steps to healing from emotional trauma
- Find a safe space in your mind or somewhere to go where you feel secure.
- Practice breathing and mindfulness: breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds and breathe out through your mouth for 4 seconds, for 2 or 3 minutes. This will calm your nervous system and focus your mind on the here-and-now, connecting you to a place of inner calm and peace. It’s a technique used by everyone from star athletes to the military to help stay in control while under stress.
- Incorporate movement into your daily routine. Stimulating your muscles releases the tension in your body, as well as getting endorphins flowing – these are hormones in your brain and nervous system that make you happy (they are activated, for example, when you fall in love). All this can reduce your anxiety levels.
Crucially, be willing to change and heal. This is not an easy road but if you are willing to try the rewards can be great. You can start living free from anxiety, with all the new opportunities opening up for you.
If coronavirus is your motivation to make that change, you may find my Coronavirus Crisis Kit [link to it] helpful.
Therapy for emotional trauma
I offer CBT therapy [link to CBT therapy section] for emotional trauma, helping you to focus confidently on positive thoughts and action.
We begin by identifying your emotional trauma and establishing a baseline through a series of short written questions. This allows us to take an evidence-based journey together where you will see your improvements in black and white.
To treat emotional trauma I then use an evidence-based model comprising 3 phases:
- Our first step is to make sure you feel safe so that your fears cannot overwhelm you. We do this with Somatic Safe Place Imagery and body scans, allowing you to reclaim a sense of safety. For stabilisation and regulation we offer you the chance to spend time with our horses who by nature can help you align with their inner state of calm therefore making you feel safe and heard. With or without our horses you will be given the tools to regulate yourself and feel safe.
- Only once we have achieved this will we move on to processing your fears/trauma. Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy [link to CPR section] will help you transform your negative beliefs into positive beliefs and approach your challenges in a different way.
- The last phase is Post-Trauma Regrowth, the key to integrating your learnings into your life to look forward to a more positive future. Together we will build a Resilience Plan to help you cope better and open up exciting new freedom.
This approach is based on Herman’s (1992) Tri-Phasic Model as a Standard of Care for Clinicians and has been approved by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the UK Psychological Trauma Society.
When circumstances allow I can offer you the help of my horses to experience your challenges and learn how to regulate your emotional state.
Dealing with emotional trauma trapped in your body
Your body holds memories, trapping negative emotions that can be toxic to your way of life.
Following the work of renowned psychiatrist Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk (author of best-selling book The Body Keeps the Score) I offer therapy to detoxify the body from trauma to help you feel fully alive.
Trauma changes the brain and affects the body, leaving you with feelings of dread and helplessness, maybe seeking refuge in drugs and alcohol in a vain attempt to manage unbearable sensations.
I can help you instead to calm your body, giving you a secure environment in which you can experience the emotions you have been trying to ignore in a safe environment. Safety is the key in helping you release these trapped emotions and find new freedom.