Trauma / Grief Counselling
Find the Right Trauma Therapist for You
Are you struggling with trauma or grief, or related issues such as relationships, anxiety or stress?
When you contact us, we will help you choose the best match for your situation from our 12 psychologists and Masters degree-qualified counsellors in North Parramatta.
We are open daytime and after hours, Monday to Saturday, including evenings.
What is Trauma?
Sometimes in life, terrible things can happen. Some things can feel out of our control.
These things can come as a shock to us when they occur. Life can throw us curve balls, which can lead to stress reactions for you. We may experience grief or loss, or trauma due to these experiences.
In the physical sense, trauma relates to injury, or the impact of an injury to a certain body part, eg, bruising, or broken bones etc. The same kind of impact can occur on an emotional, or psychological level. However, the pain and trauma felt in this way is not so visible, and a bit trickier to identify in yourself and other people.
Trauma can be thought of as a kind of emotional whiplash, in which someone’s core being has been injured. Trauma can affect someone in the following ways:
It can affect sense of safety and security in the world It can alter their ability to make and maintain relationships
It can reduce their emotional resilience.
It can lead to mental illness, such as anxiety or depression.
It can affect their ability to function in their everyday lives.
These effects of emotional trauma can come on suddenly, or straight after the traumatic experience. Or they can come on gradually after some time has passed since the traumatic incident. They can be short term affects, or acute in nature, or they can become more long term.
The aim of trauma therapy and grief counselling is to support you in processing and exploring that experience, to grow from it and flourish, even through the pain.
What causes Trauma?
Trauma is a response that can occur to many scary or overwhelming experiences for example:
- Any form of abuse experienced, eg Physical, sexual or emotional
- Threats made towards you
- Life threatening accidents
- Hostage scenarios
Everyone responds to traumatic experiences differently. Some people appear to find personal resolve or resilience to process the trauma and may only need short term support with a counsellor.
Other’s may take more time, and this can be hard to manage. It may affect someone in a big way. They could develop unhelpful coping strategies, and they could develop a condition known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.
In some circumstances, people can have a trauma response to something they did not necessarily experience first hand. For example someone they know may have experienced trauma, or they may have witnessed a traumatic event.
This is known as vicarious trauma, and can have just as profound an affect as though that person experienced the trauma first hand. This type of trauma can also occur in first response professionals such as police, ambulance or rescuers, or clinical debriefers such as crisis counsellors or Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault counsellors.
Responses to trauma can be similar to responses that someone might have when they experience grief, that sense of disbelief can be so common when you lose someone close to you or something important to you.
Trauma often relates to losing something too, such as a sense of safety, or identity. Grief can feel just as debilitating, and people can experience grief in so many different ways.
These are just a few listed, and there can be such a flow on affect too. That loss in your life can represent so much more loss as well.
Sadly at some point or another, in everyone’s life, there will be experiences that lead to grief reactions. Losing a loved one or a beloved pet is all too common, but there are so many other loss experiences people can experience:
- Loss of a job
- Relationship breakdown or divorce
- Loss of property
- Loss of mobility due to ageing or accident
- Dealing with chronic illness such as cancer, dementia or mental health issues
Everyone experiences grief differently
There is no right or wrong way to process grief. It’s important to give yourself permission to grieve, and to grieve in your own way. People can feel pressured to process grief in a particular way or for a particular length of time.
The truth is, learning to cope and process the loss that you experience can take a lot longer than you think sometimes, and the path one takes during this time can take many turns.
People can experience a large range of emotions as they work through grief. They can feel sadness at the loss an important part of their life. Or they can feel anger at the injustice of the loss.
They can feel responsibility for the loss and blame themselves or blame others and they can develop a sense of fear at the thought or having to face life once again.
Although the feelings associated with grief and trauma will get better over time, the memory does not go away. There will still be a sense of loss in years to come, but the emotions will feel different.
Trauma and grief counselling may help you
Grief and trauma are natural responses to significant events.
While not everyone will seek professional intervention to help process their experiences, many people do, and find a benefit to allowing a counsellor or psychologist to journey with them during this time.
Some people find a benefit to having someone be a witness to their grief, to explore the elements of loss in their grief, to memorialise their loved one, to celebrate in their life, to provide strategies for coping with their grief, and to provide structure for decision making such as funeral plans, back to work plans etc.
Some people speak of the benefit of just having a space to cry, or to debrief and appreciate that sense of being held during the journey of grief.
Sometimes a third party professional is someone who have help you grieve, but is just that bit removed from your everyday life that it helps to maintain a sense of control in the grief.
And then when, life seems to go on, and people stop asking you how you are, and people stop supporting you, there remains a space where you can come and have space and support to grieve fully for that loss.
The aim of trauma therapy and grief counselling is to support you in processing and exploring that experience, to grow from it and flourish, even through the pain. To be given time to heal.