Since August 2018, when a significant change of circumstances occurred, I have had many requests from case managers for therapists to work with people who have suffered trauma throughout the United Kingdom. At that time I had no intention of setting up a national trauma network.
Since then the pressure to do something that would provide a reputable and reliable service based upon accredited therapists and practitioners has become overwhelming. In response to this we have now constructed a new arm to our business called Traumaticus. Traumaticus means, “the nature of trauma”.
We chose this name for a number of reasons but first and foremost because we see traumatic responses as normal and natural behaviours that are a product of an unnatural or horrific situation that is outside of the experience of most people.
The key to dealing with trauma is not to treat it as pathologically abnormal, nor is it to minimise the person’s experience but we believe that recognising that the person’s response and behaviour to trauma is both understandable and normal and a way of coping with a horrific situation whatever it is.
We also consider that the most important aspects of any help and support that might be given is helping the person to understand their own qualities, abilities and resilience in managing to survive.
Trauma does not occur in a vacuum. Trauma occurs in an environment that is toxic in some way. Whether it be a car accident, battlefield experience, personal injury or abuse (physical, sexual or emotional). A person who has suffered trauma of some kind does not need to be told that they have now developed some kind of pathological response to normal life. They may well have developed a different response to the one that they had prior to the trauma but that response is their way of coping and surviving. For many their response to trauma does not become unhelpful until such times as they are in a new environment. It is then that their behaviour becomes “out of step”.
At Traumaticus, we use minimal interventions to gain maximum beneficial change. As far as possible, we try to avoid using technical language as a person who is struggling with distress is often also struggling with comprehension as a result of what has occurred to them. As many trauma specialists note, memory is often apparently compromised. Asking a person who is still in the grip of the aftermath of a trauma, (whether it is single or prolonged), to learn a new language and to comprehend a whole set of new ideas about themselves is just plain unreasonable. Therefore, we work with what the person is already capable of, can comprehend, and help them to build upon that and explore what might be possible for them in the future.
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