Trauma Prevention

Preventing the symptoms of trauma involves increasing the capacity of a person's autonomic nervous system*. When you increase nervous system capacity, a traumatised person experiences themselves as more resilient than they felt in the past. One way I do this is by creating repeated successful 'experiments' for the body in sessions. Repeated experiences of 'success' helps the brain and the unconscious mind 'learn' they have a better chance of surviving 'well' than in the past. Although the person survived their trauma, from the perspective of the person's nervous system, they felt overwhelmed. So you can also say that 'trauma' is the nervous system's attempt to re-experience the traumatic event more successfully than just pure physiological survival.

Traumatic symptoms can include:

  • Hyper-sensitivity - especially to light, sound and chemicals

  • Exhaustion, chronic fatigue (CFS), or very low physical energy

  • Feeling stuck

  • Worrying about being persecuted, judged, or attacked if you become more visible and express yourself/your 'truth'

  • Panic attacks, anxiety and phobias

  • Trying to manage and manipulate the environment to avoid overwhelm

  • Mental blankness or spaciness, losing track of time

  • Attraction to dangerous situations

  • Abrupt mood swings; e.g., rage reactions or temper tantrums, shame

  • Exaggerated or diminished sexual activity

  • Inability to love, nurture, or bond with other individuals

  • Hypervigilance

  • Inability to settle, feeling 'on' all the time

  • Hyperactivity, bursts of energy to get things done in unrealistic time periods

  • Forgetfulness, feeling like your brain is full

  • Exaggerated emotional and startle responses

  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia

  • Depression, feelings of impending doom

  • Diminished interest in life

  • Reduced ability to deal with stress and to formulate plans

  • Immune system problems and endocrine problems such as thyroid dysfunction

  • Fibromyalgia

  • IBS, colitis, and digestive issues

  • Migraines, neck problems and persistent headaches

  • Severe premenstrual syndrome

*the autonomic nervous system is comprised of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, and involves the brain, brain stem, spine, and all the nerves in this system which ennervate the entire physical body, including the gut.