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Importance Of Counselling After Traumatic Situations

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If I knew what I know now, back years ago when things happened too me, I would have been more open to getting things that happened on operations of my chest through professional help. What I want to highlight for everyone here I guess, and those that read here, is that immediate help is required after a traumatic event, with progressive ongoing counselling, for years even, after the event, to help lessen the chances of obtaining PTSD.

It is factual that PTSD often occurs from those who suffer trauma, and hide it from the world, thus making the effect much worse within themselves and developing PTSD. Don't get me wrong, even talking about it, you can still get PTSD, but the chances are less.

What made me stress this point I guess, is reading a piece on employee's who are unwilling victims in shop crime.
At least four robberies in the Chatsworth area in the past week - one at a school and two at restaurants at Chatsworth Centre - have made some employees too frightened to go back to work.

According to police spokeswoman Supt Danelia Veldhuizen, five armed men entered Pinewood Primary School through a hole in the fence on Wednesday and held up three teachers and the principal before fleeing.

She also confirmed that, on the same day, nine armed men had robbed fast food outlets Chicken Licken and Something Fishy, at Chatsworth Centre. Last Saturday the store Bargain Man had been robbed by five armed men, one of whom had been arrested, she said.

The manager of one of the robbed stores said as many as five of his staff had not returned to work since Wednesday's hold-up.

"One (of them did return) today but broke down during the course of the day and resigned," he said. "My shop is not the only one where this is happening."

According to Chatsworth psychologist and counsellor Chris Venketsamy, the abnormally high crime rate caused victims to be gripped by a psychosis of fear.

"Quite often the victim manifests . . . nervousness (and) anxiety and goes through lots of anger as they feel their rights have been violated.

"If victims are not treated (by a professional), the symptoms become chronic and they suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)."

Source: Sunday Tribune
This is real stuff, real pain, real suffering, all of which can manifest into PTSD, and once you have it, you can't get rid of it I'm afraid. I hope people find this, read it, and really take notice, that if they have suffered trauma in the past, get counselling just to chat about it, and if its nothing, the counsellor will let you go with little to no more sessions. There is no time limit on the development of PTSD. It could be months after the event, years or decades.
during my councelling sessions i reveiled that i have never had councilling after any event which has made my ptsd worse over the years.
Yep... did that for sometime myself... only to find out the repercussions from keeping everything to myself. If only someone told us earlier!!!!!
I only went for counselling after my accident. When I did go, it was almost too late for me. I was at the point in my life where I could have not seen anyone for weeks before they missed me. Tempting when you have depression and close to suicidal. What I had not realized was that the abuse and neglect I suffered as a child ended up being compounded with my accident, resulting in a more complex PTSD My counsellor was floored, amazed I was still alive with the amount of trauma I had been through. At the time of the initial onset, I had no resources, and the stigma of therapy kept me away from getting help. It seems to me the awareness of mental well being has come along way, thankfully. Education on the repercussions of not recieving help is extremely important. Lord knows without intervention I would either be dead or so far gone it would have been too late to get back to who I was. I had no education before my accident on what PTSD really was, I just thought I was losing my mind. Losing grip with reality.
the stigma of therapy kept me away from getting help

I am SO with you there. I used to think that therapy was for weak people. How wrong was I?! Maybe it was all part of the denial thing, maybe not. However, I now know that had I not took myself off for some counselling, I would most likely be 6 feet under by now.

Therapy is definitely NOT for weak people. You need to be damn strong to do therapy. That's what scares me most at the moment - can I deal with all the stuff that's been stored away for years? Hope so, and I've a much better chance of dealing with it all with the help of this forum and all you guys than I would facing it all alone. :smile: Anyway, before we start reaching for the tissues, I'm off!
While we are on the counselling topic, I thought I'd throw a couple of issues into the ring and see what you guys think about them.

When I was last in counselling, I talked about some stuff that I'd never talked about before. I found that my counsellor got angry. She said that what I'd told her made her angry, and she asked if I felt angry. I did not. I can talk about the stuff that happened to me with no emotional involvement (that I recognise) at all, yet my counsellor was clearly upset. This made me think/feel a couple of things:

Firstly, I felt bad for upsetting the counsellor, so I decided not to talk about the really bad stuff. Second, I found it hard to deal with the counsellor being upset, because logically, I could see why someone would be upset by hearing what happened to me. It just magnified my understanding that I have some serious issues to deal with and worried the hell out of me that I don't feel things like I should.

In the end, I decided to try and understand what was going on, and deal with things to the point where I could get myself back to work. It took me 3 years, yet I still didn't address the major issues from my past, although the counsellor clearly thought I had. So really, it's no surprise that I crashed and burned again.

I came across a similar response when I went for my first visit to the trauma centre the other day. The counsellor there said that while I was projecting an image of being comfortable and in good spirits, she could clearly see that I was very angry. This response I could deal with and accept. I know that I can easily act the happy person even when I'm feeling terrible - my work colleagues don't have a clue!

My main worry is that I won't be able to handle the counsellor's response if I dare talk about some things - apart from the fact that I can't handle my own feelings about it, which is why I spend so much time doing the denial and avoidance thing.

All in all, I'm a bit confused (can you tell?). I know I need to talk about this stuff to get through it properly, but I'm scared as hell about my own reactions and the reactions of the counsellor.:crazy-eye
Hmmmm, a bit odd that your counsellor got upset about it. That means your counsellor is taking on some of what you say, which I thought was generally a big no no for them, ie. listen, but try not to fell our pain. Interesting. I would actually talk about that with your counsellor, in that your feeling insecure about telling her more because its upsetting her. Maybe you need to speak with a male instead of female! Males tend to take things told upon themselves less, and show little or less reactions than what females do. Just a simple male / female anatomy curve really. Saying that though, you may also communicate better with a female, as some women talk better to women than men. The difference here though, is your getting that emotional response back, which males tend not to provide... so maybe you need two counsellors, one for general chit chat, one for the really tough stuff where you need to get it out of you, and have it evaluated, but at the same time not get back the emotional response that makes you think too hard about it?

Now, saying all that Piglet, you know, its ok if what has happened too you is very distressing in others eyes, because this is why hence you have PTSD to begin with, as you haven't just suffered some little insignificant trauma, you have suffered severe trauma at high levels. Whilst it may upset people to hear it, that can also be seen as a positive aspect too your position to begin with, as it confirms that most certainly what has happened too you is very traumatic by others views. Maybe this is just saying, "hey, embrace what has happened too you, because you have suffered", and its ok to feel that way, and not try and deny just how traumatic your situation has been.

You can take this place for example, and your own reactions to what others have written here that has caused them trauma, and possibly thought to yourself, WOW... mine seems so insignificant to that, or if you started feeling angry because of what someone has suffered. Apply that to your counsellor, and some things just may be that traumatic that your counsellor needs to get angry that such things could happen in the world. I guess as long as you embrace the trauma, acknowledge it, know it has happened and you can't change that now, and learn how to deal with it everytime a specific issue arises. Basically, DON'T BE AFRAID OF YOUR TRAUMA! Don't be afraid of getting it out of you, because if you are, and are mindful of those its being told, then trauma will win.
Maybe this is just saying, "hey, embrace what has happened too you, because you have suffered", and its ok to feel that way, and not try and deny just how traumatic your situation has been

Well, I guess that's the plan, although denial is far less stressful in the short term!

But I am. Very afraid! Feel like I'm going to lose the plot altogether. At least I can keep myself together doing the denial thing, even if it does take a load of effort and energy. I guess I'll have to check out the new counsellor and see how things go. Meanwhile, I'd be better taking some good advice and dealing with one day at a time.
Yer... one day at a time is very good advice. I really dribbled in that last post... not sure what I was thinking last night. I think you kind off shocked me that a counsellor showed emotion to your problems, in that that is generally a no no to them, because of this exact reaction that you have now. If they show fear or anger of what you tell them, then that makes you think what you stated, which is kind off a direct consequence of action to say "hey, be scared of coming here, because we're showing you our emotions reflected off your problems!" Generally you only get feedback type emotions, ie. that is terrible, how did that make you feel, you have been treated bad, does that make you angry, etc. These generally keep the counsellor from showing their emotions, opposed to using "you" to get you to define your emotions. Hmmmmmmm... just very strange, thats all.

What do you think you will do Piglet? What do you feel is the best solution for you? Honestly, you need to get everything off your chest, that is a given. You need to accept what has happened to you in a way off, it was terrible, is has happened and I cannot change it, I now have to learn how to have this in my head, though cope with the fact that this has happened. I guess this is part of what I mean when I say, "you need to embrace your trauma!"

I don't know if you have ever tried this one, but it does work for most, in that you start writing about a specific trauma. You write exactly what happened to the best of your knowledge. You then read it, and if needed, read it again. You then add to it any little bits you missed out, you then read it again and again, seeing if you have missed any other little details. What this does is allows you to atleast vent a trauma onto paper initially, read it thoroughly to get the full story out, without any piece missing, regardless how insignificant you may think it is, as these little pieces may be the bigger pieces to the puzzle for your help.

If your comfortable with your counsellor, but get a response like you did, which then distresses you, talk with your counsellor about giving them the information you have done on one trauma alone, and allow them time to read it and process it, get any emotions out of theirs that need getting past, then discuss it with the counsellor so you don't get the same response as you just got.

Basically, for every problem there is a solution, its just a matter of finding the best solution that fits you. If your counsellor has upset you by showing their reaction to your discussion, then you need to let them know that, so they can stop it in future.
Hopefully, the counsellor won't be a problem, cos I'm starting with a new one on Friday. Still have reservations, but I'll say so from the outset and see what reaction I get.

Had a very bad day/night, but won't post about it here - you never know who's watching!
You just take care of you piglet... and don't let PTSD get on top off you, because if you blink, it will. A new counsellor could help you resolve some of that fright you got fed back too you last time. I am still a bit shocked about that one...
Hello, I am new here, but have some thoughts on counseling and critical incident stress debriefings (CISD). I was involved in the "clean up" after 9/11 with over 700 people working for me. I made sure every one of them recieved a CISD...but of course I was too macho to get one myself. The next two months were full of flashbacks and nightmares. I finally went to see a shrink, and that helped for a couple of years. Then the flashbacks started hitting again. I went to another shrink who thought the best treatment was to close my eyes and relive the experience aloud. That only happened once!!! For the past couple of months, my PTSD has gone high octane. Went to see another shrink and his comment was, "I can't believe how ill-treated you were." On meds now. The point I am belaboring here is that I think IMMEDIATE counseling is a MUST! Terry
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