Trauma is not the event. It’s what happens inside of you as a result of the event.
It’s the busyness, sleepless nights, relationship difficulties, racing mind, gut issues, inability to relax, autoimmune illneses, perfectionism, chronic pain, anxiety, and burnout.
You can feel more relaxed, calm and in control of your life
Your body holds your stories, your experiences and your traumas.
Trauma lives in your memories, movements, postures, tissues, fascia, muscles, organs, gut, cells, emotions, behaviours and sensations.
Trauma recovery requires more than just talking therapy.
As a body-centred psychotherapist I am trained and highly skilled in using a mind-body approach to trauma healing.
Trauma is a highly activated incomplete biological response. It’s like being all dressed up with nowhere to go.
It’s what happens in your nervous system in any distressing event where you feel overwhelmed, powerless, helpless or lacking control. When you can’t take action to do or say what you would like to, all that unused adrenaline and cortisol stays in your body.
This can happen to anyone after distressing events when your instinctive survival fight-flight-freeze response has been activated and not fully discharged.
Anyone who has prolonged periods of high stress, without adequate recovery can find themselves stuck in trauma.
Your nervous system goes into overdrive and this can stop you from being in the present moment, from relaxing and enjoying life and from connecting with other people. It causes chronic changes to your immune system, endocrine (hormonal) system and even ages you faster.
Situations such as health issues, work pressures, financial worries, relationship difficulties, or bereavement can be extremely stressful and these long held patterns of anxiety can leave you feeling wired and anxious, or tired and shut-down.
Trauma isn’t the event. It is what has occurred as a result – all of the ripple effects it has in your life.
Chronic or traumatic stress will cause 3 patterns of nervous system dysregulation:
- You’re stuck on high (wired)
- You’re stuck on low (tired)
- You’re fluctuating between wired and tired
If you’re stuck on high you can’t relax or switch off, you startle easily, have racing thoughts, anxiety, irritability, you’re on edge and emotionally reactive.
You might find that to cope and control your situation you overwork, exercise excessively, strive for perfectionism, try to get more done and rely on caffeine, sugar and stimulants. Your thoughts may become disorganised and you may react without really thinking things through. This can make you feel anxious, frustrated and unable to switch off eventually leading to burnout.
If you’re stuck on low you might not be able to muster enough effort to cope with the day to day demands of life and feel flat, disconnected and unworthy. It may be hard to think clearly or make plans. You may experience exhaustion, forgetfulness, numbness and depression. You may experience low energy even after enough sleep and chronic fatigue.
You might find that you withdraw, isolate, procrastinate, avoid things, binge watch TV, isolate yourself and have a loss of libido. This can make you feel stuck, hopeless, helpless and ashamed.
If you fluctuate between the 2 you may find yourself stuck on high for weeks until you crash with fatigue, pain, sickness or a migraine. You may have insomnia for a period followed by excess amounts of sleep.
All these symptoms are messages that your nervous system needs recovery, support and tools to help with regulation.
These symptoms are not mental weakness, but rather a sign that your nervous system is not functioning optimally. You may feel like you’re at war with your own nervous system, and that you spend so much time and energy trying to manage emotions that overwhelm you.
A dysregulated nervous system can make it hard to come up with creative solutions to problems, to gain perspective, to control impulses, and to make choices that are in your best interests based on your values.
This creates highly sensitised neural pathways so you may find yourself getting triggered easily. This is emotionally and physically exhausting, and it makes it hard to move towards your goals.
Please know that you are not alone, I can support you to recover from traumatic setbacks.
how I can help you…
During your 1:1 consultation I will help you to understand the impact of trauma in different areas of your life – which might include romantic relationships, health, parenting, friendships, employment, etc.
This helps you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself (thoughts/behaviours/emotions/reactions) to become more accepting and compassionate towards yourself.
You will also learn body-based tools to help you to regulate strong emotions.
When you learn how your physiology changes after chronic stress and trauma, you learn that it’s not YOU. You are not too needy, sensitive, anxious, depressed or reactive, it’s your nervous system that is responding this way because of chronic or traumatic stress through prolonged difficulty.
Shame and blame dissolve as you begin to recognise your own unique nervous system patterns that occur under stress. Without this understanding you may feel like there’s something wrong with you, your inner critic gets louder and this leads to more stress and dysregulation.
The way that I work is not a one-size fits all, I will tailor each session to suit your unique, specific needs and requirements. You will learn about your nervous system (vagus nerve) and how “stress-related illness” such as anxiety, depression, gut disorders, autoimmune issues and chronic pain can arise from nervous system dysregulation after chronic stress.
The vagus nerve is key to a multitude of physiological functions that underpins everything from your mental and physical wellbeing, to maintaining relationships and your general happiness.
What if you could work with your nervous system rather than feeling stuck?
You can learn to recognise your signs and symptoms in order to support your emotional and physical health with self-regulation tools.
You can learn to tend and befriend your nervous system instead of feeling powerless. Knowing how to self-regulate develops confidence in your body’s ability to recover and bounce back.
A healthy nervous system is not always calm. We will experience some stress, adversity, failure and challenges in life.
A healthy nervous system that is given the opportunity to fully recover from stress activation becomes adaptable, resilient and flexible.
Regulation means you learn to work with your nervous system to retune it back to a state that allows you to cope better with stress. Sometimes you just need the right tools to help you to return to a state where you can think clearly and feel at ease. When you use practices that re-tune your nervous system it becomes more flexible and resilient.
You learn to work with your nervous system rather than being driven by fear and shame that leads to overdoing it and burnout.
feel more empowered, resilient and in control
Together, we will explore the presenting problems and other underlying issues that contribute to what’s going on for you right now.
In order for this to happen, I will help you to gain a better understanding of your physical symptoms, your feelings and your thought processes.
I will also teach you how to calm your own nervous system and to find your own solutions to problems in a perceptive and insightful way.
"I've regained my confidence, my inner critic is no longer running the show and I'm rebuilding my ability to trust and have better relationships."
"Caroline is patient, calm and she has a great sense of humour. She really listens and being heard and understood helped me to heal."
"Caroline, thank you so much for your support - it is so valuable in helping me move forward, I've learnt so much under your brilliant guidance and expertise."