Hand-Holding Human

Trauma and PTSD

Memories are only memories to the conscious mind. To the unconscious mind and heart they are current events

Photo by Masaaki Komori

Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is activated through a person experiencing a highly stressful event or a series of deeply upsetting events over an extended period of time.

Trauma comes in all shapes and sizes, as does people’s response to it. Some may notice indicators of PTSD immediately whereas for others it might take years to develop. PTSD is more common than you realise with the NHS estimating that 1 in every 3 people are affected in their lifetime.

Both hypnotherapy and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) use particular techniques to resolve trauma and PTSD so that you can go on to live a healthy and balanced life.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

  • Flashbacks, nightmares and increasing levels of anxiety are common
  • Can see the memory clearly (like it happened yesterday despite it being 20 years ago)
  • OR inability to recall exactly what happened
  • Feeling disconnected from others
  • Feeling withdrawn and isolated
  • No longer want to participate in activities previously enjoyed
  • Increased levels of irritability which may include outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty sleeping and insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hyper-vigilant (watchfulness and wariness) and not able to relax
  • Easily startled
  • May feel like you can not cope
  • Feeling a sense inexplainable sense of dread
  • Have a sense of a limited future (not expecting positive things to happen in their life)

What may cause PTSD?

  • Receiving a huge shock
  • Witnessing a traumatic event although not personally involved (seeing something happening on the street or on the news)
  • Involvement in an accident
  • Talking to someone who talks about their traumatic experience in detail
  • Childbirth
  • Prolonged stress in the workplace
  • Watching someone become very unwell or death of a loved one
  • Extensive periods of bullying and abuse
  • Extensive worry about real or imagined future events

Why does PTSD develop?

Two people may witness the same event but react in completely different ways. Why is this?

Well, it all depends on the level of stress hormone generated at the time of the incident. If this is high it can inhibit the mind’s natural process of storing the experience (the memory) in the long-term memory. This means it is stored in the short-term memory and the brain has placed it there to keep you safe and to help prevent you being in danger again. This may mean that when the brain perceives ‘danger’, that in someway feels similar to the traumatic event, it activates the survival response (fight or flight) to support you in removing yourself from the situation and to safety.

PTSD is fear of a memory. If the emotional arousal level of the memory or experience is high, the brain naturally activates the survival response. This means that the memory continues to stay ‘current’ and cannot be processed into the long-term memory store.

How can hypnotherapy help me to process trauma safely?

Hypnotherapy naturally and gently guides you into a safe and relaxed state. This supports the brain to reprocess the traumatic memory so that it becomes stored as a non-threatening memory in the long-term memory store. This means it will no longer activate the survival response. You will still remember what happened but it will no longer have an emotional charge to it.

The Rewind Technique is quick, safe and individuals notice the change in their perception of the memory often immediately. This means that the recollection of the memory or experience no longer creates discomfort or activates the survival response.

Another important benefit for the technique is that the individual does not have to disclose lots of information relating to the event or even discuss this in any detail. All I require is a name for the event so that I am able to guide you during the hypnosis.

Depending on the level of trauma and related aspects individuals may need to undergo a number of sessions to completely resolve and process the experience.

“Working with Hannah  has honestly changed my life, she has helped me with lifelong chronic anxiety as well as PTSD. She gives such a lovely warm welcome and makes you feel at ease, she’s incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about what she does. Honestly I could sing her praise from the roof tops, thank you Hannah”

C, Brighton

How can EFT help me to process trauma safely?

EFT supports the individual to experience relief from traumatic experiences in a pain-free, safe and gentle way. There are a number of tapping techniques and processes that an EFT practitioner will use to ensure that both the trauma and any related negative beliefs or aspects of the memory are resolved. EFT is a highly effective tool for working through the memories systematically and effectively until their emotional charge has gone. Like hypnotherapy EFT supports the brain to process the memory from the short-term memory into the long-term memory archive and ensures that the recollection of that memory or experience no longer causes pain or emotional discomfort.

In fact we know when the trauma has been resolved during the session when an individual says something along the lines of ‘it happened’, ‘it’s over’, ‘I’m safe’, ‘I did everything I could, it wasn’t my fault and I realise that now’; this demonstrates that there has been a powerful cognitive shift in the mind.

Again, depending on the level of trauma and related aspects individuals may need to undergo a number of sessions to completely resolve and process the experience.

Hannah helped me out immensely when she worked with me to address some trauma with EFT. Hannah’s very understanding, calm, and works through the issues in a sympathetic way.

She was amazing throughout the EFT and really helped me to overcome my issues. She made me feel safe and like I could tell her anything. Since the treatment I’ve been feeling so much better in myself – the trauma has passed, and would thoroughly recommend Hannah. 

M, Birmingham

Want to talk or find out more about how I can support you to resolve trauma? 

Contact me on 07769680518 or email me Hannah@handholdinghuman.com


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