If you are struggling with stress, panic attacks, anxiety, bouts of depression, addiction, or any other trauma-related issue, I am here to provide the help you need.
As an experienced BACP-registered counsellor in Swindon and online, my role is to create a strictly non-judgemental environment where you can be listened to, understood, and feel comfortable to voice your emotions as freely as possible. No matter what you may be going through, we will create a personalised roadmap that helps you reach a better place.
I use an integrative, three-phase model for helping those dealing with trauma-related issues, combining Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, and person-centered therapy to encourage stabilisation regulation as a way of dealing with trauma memories. This process is generally designed for long-term work but can be adapted for shorter-term therapy as well, and goes as follows:
The first step is to re-establish your basic sense of safety and trust. We will walk through your history of traumatic events, family history, and relationships – in a way that’s comfortable to you. Another important aspect is evaluating the extent to which you are dissociating and the severity of the trauma, as this allows us to set the pace and determine the need for stabilisation. This will be combined with developing certain strategies for helping you feel less overwhelmed, going to a place where you feel safe and calm and enabling us to move towards the second stage of coming to terms with your memories.
Having recounted past traumatic events, we will begin to work on putting words and/or feelings on this memory, along with naming any sensations you feel on your body. You may find that this brings up uncomfortable emotions, and if this is the case, we will return to the ‘safe and calm’ place established in the first stage. Over time we will work on reconstructing negative beliefs you currently have about yourself and the wider world and shifting to new beliefs that help you feel higher levels of self-esteem and greater connection with others. A big part of this ‘shifting’ process is forming new interpretations of the traumatic experience that aren’t based on shame and guilt.
After reconnecting with your trauma and developing a different perspective of these events, we will next work on empowerment and reconnecting with yourself. The old beliefs that underpinned your life have been actively challenged, and the next step is to develop new relationships based on more compassionate beliefs about yourself and the wider world. We may, once again, need to return to that place of safety as you approach reconnecting with others.
Taking care of yourself is especially important during this stage – your body, environment, material needs, and so on.
©2021 Sam Hewitt
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