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Adverse Childhood Experiences or Really Bad Childhoods

In the first few paragraphs of his book “Angela’s Ashes” Frank McCourt comments: “When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived it all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.

People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes… Continue reading

What is PTSD and how do we treat it?

Introduction You may have heard of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is used quite often in the media and it is worthwhile understanding a bit more about the diagnosis and the objectives in treating PTSD. I am referring to “ordinary” PTSD in this article. There is considerable evidence that people exposed to traumatic events over a long period (such as in extremely violent, abusive families, torture, war and so on)… Continue reading

How does it feel to receive treatment for trauma?

Many people are afraid of receiving treatment for trauma. I want to spend some time discussing this fear and explaining what can be expected in the treatment of trauma. This will hopefully assist you in deciding whether or not you need treatment and if necessary making the appointment. Is it a valid fear? Yes, without doubt is is a completely understandable and valid fear. It takes an enormous amount of… Continue reading

Strategies for dealing with painful and overwhelming memories and emotions

Painful memories can take over your life, at times feeling as though they are invading every experience. There are a number of strategies which are useful in helping to contain and set these memories and emotions aside, making them a bit more manageable. This does not imply that you suppress the memories or deny their existence, it is an acknowledgement that they are there and will be dealt with when… Continue reading

Treatment for trauma

Validated treatment There are a few approaches with have been validated for the treatment of trauma. This means that there is sufficient supporting research to indicate that these approaches work. In other words, these methods have been described clearly, the studies have been put together in such a way that they comply with scientific principles and have often been repeated a number of times. The work has been published in… Continue reading

Trauma – when do I need professional help?

In this article I will discuss when you need to receive professional help in dealing with trauma.

There are numerous misconceptions around trauma. Over the last number of years people have come to believe that anyone who is exposed to trauma of any degree or nature has to receive trauma counselling.  This is not true.  We now know that people are very resilient and can and do resolve… Continue reading

History of posttraumatic stress disorder

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has a checked history, often reflecting the convenience of the times. It has been discovered and lost, proclaimed and debunked repeatedly over the years. One of the early references to what appears to be symptoms that would fit in with a diagnosis of PTSD today, appears in Homer’s Iliad probably written around 800 BC.  It has gone under various names, from bomb shock to concentration… Continue reading