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Mental Health, Trauma Therapy & PTSD Counselling

What is trauma?

Trauma is a response to a deeply distressing or disturbing frightening event which overwhelms the body’s natural coping mechanism, causing feelings of helplessness, diminished sense of self and the inability to feel a full range of emotions. Trauma is a normal reaction to a horrible event; however, the effects can be so severe they interfere with a person’s natural ability to live a normal life.

What is trauma counselling, and how does it work?

Trauma counselling, or therapy, involves using various process and techniques working directly with the subconscious mind, the amygdala – a small part of the brain responsible for our feelings, emotions and reactions, the pre-frontal cortex and the hypocampus. It is directly linked to how we act and react.

A traumatic event overloads the brain’s normal stress management ability and our memory of the trauma becomes fragmented and filed in the wrong area of the brain.

Therefore, the memory does not follow a chronological order and disconnects from our speech centre. Memories of the event fragments and can easily be “triggered“ by other experiences, however the mind convinces itself it is a real event when it isn’t. These “triggers” could be smells, emotions, places, roads, images or noises. Sometimes, a traumatised person can experience flashbacks of the memories, as if they were occurring here and now like having a nightmare.

Trauma or PTSD varies greatly from person to person, as we all think and feel differently. Depending on several factors, people will react to therapy in different ways. With this in mind, I use an extensive toolkit of techniques and processes specific to my client and we evaluate as we go along. What we do need to do is balance the brain, its processing and how it sees the trauma, event or situation.

What causes trauma?
  • Catastrophic illness or injury
  • Childhood abuse (emotional, physical or sexual)
  • War
  • Childhood neglect or abandonment
  • Rape
  • Domestic abuse
  • Natural disasters
  • Birth stress for both mother and infant
  • Invasive medical and dental procedures
  • Accidents such as car crashes and falls
  • Witnessing an act of violence
How can trauma affect you?

When you experience a traumatic event, your body’s defence system – fight, flight or freeze creates a stress response, which can make you feel a variety of physical symptoms, behave differently and experience more intense emotions. When suffering trauma, the body produces a chemical reaction can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Raised blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased sweating
  • Reduced or loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Flashbacks
  • Unwanted feelings & thoughts
  • Sleeplessness
  • Hopelessness
  • Eating disorders
  • Nightmares
  • Anxiety, fear and feeling stressed
  • Memory loss
  • Headaches/migraines or muscle pain
  • Anger
  • Emotionally unstable
  • Uncharacteristic behaviour
What can cause PTSD?
  • War
  • Car accidents
  • Rape
  • Physical assault
  • Verbal and emotional abuse
  • Domestic, emotional and sexual assault

Any kind of disturbing event which overwhelms your ability to cope falls into the PTSD category.

These symptoms are a normal reaction to an emergency. Directly after the traumatic event people may experience shock and denial. This can last several hours, days or weeks and include feelings like sadness, anger and guilt. Many people go on to recover, however, some may take longer and may go on to develop anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What does trauma do to your brain?

The most concerning change to your brain is its reduction in size as the brain and grey matter struggles to cope. Parts of the brain, in particular the pre-frontal cortex, shuts down or goes “off line”. When this happens, it disrupts the ability to think, process and complete basic tasks, making general life and work difficult. The second significant change is the increase in cortisol levels which spikes anxiety, stress and mental illness and could lead to PTSD.

What happens when trauma is untreated?

If symptoms are left untreated it can have drastic mental health implications such as loneliness, depression and insomnia. Physical health issues including chronic pain, anger management, headaches, stomach problems, sexual dysfunction, alcohol or drug abuse. People often experience a combination of the above.

Can trauma cause PTSD?

Yes, it absolutely can. When trauma is left untreated it often becomes PTSD or CPTSD – Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder which can develop after being involved in, or witnessing, traumatic events. The condition was first recognised in war veterans and has been known as ‘shell shock’, but it’s not only diagnosed in soldiers.

When you mention PTSD most people think of war veterans or emergency services personal, however, according to the American Psychological Association, women are twice as likely to develop PTSD, experience a longer duration of post-traumatic symptoms and display more sensitivity to stimuli that remind them of the trauma.

When you go through something you find traumatic it’s understandable to experience some symptoms associated with PTSD afterwards, such as feeling numb or having trouble sleeping. This is sometimes described as an ‘acute stress reaction’.

Many people find that these symptoms disappear within a few weeks, but if your symptoms last for longer than a month, you might be given a diagnosis of PTSD. Your GP might refer you to a therapist if your symptoms are particularly severe.

How do I know if I have PTSD? What are the symptoms?

  • Sleeplessness
  • Panic attacks
  • Intense fear
  • Nightmares and tremors
  • Self-destructive thoughts or actions
  • Depression
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the trauma
  • Feeling hyper aroused or hyper alert
  • Having constant negative feelings and beliefs
Can PTSD be cured?

It takes commitment to PTSD therapy and an integration process to move on. At times, this may be difficult because you may need to face uncomfortable memories, but recovery can be made, and many people move on to lead normal lives.

Medication can be an effective addition for PTSD treatment, but it can never cure it on its own. These drugs help improve mood, decrease anxiety and make it easier to concentrate and sleep.

In addition, normal life can be entirely restored, reconnecting with family and friends and perhaps rebuilding relationships. If you are struggling, find a PTSD counselling therapist or PTSD counsellor near you and take back control of your life.

What are the benefits of trauma therapy?

We would encourage anyone who has experienced trauma to at least consider some form of trauma counselling and/ or working with a PTSD counsellor. There are a great many benefits:

  • Takes away and reduces the after-effects of trauma
  • Return to a normal and acceptable state of living
  • Return to having a focus and purpose in life
  • Forgive, forget and move on with your life
  • Feel achievement at work and at home once again
  • Acceptance of what happened
  • Stops individuals living in the past
  • Helps create a clear understanding of what happened
  • Helps your brain process and file away past negative events
  • Becoming a whole person again
*Disclaimer – results can differ from person to person. Your drive and determination to make change happen for yourself will always result in a more positive outcome.

Trauma Therapy & PTSD Counselling Near You

The benefits of working with me 

With over 23 years of experience as a trauma therapist and PTSD counselling specialist, I understand what it takes to help people get their lives back on track. As one of the most popular and well-reviewed PTSD and trauma therapists throughout Bedford, Northampton, and Milton Keynes, you can be confident that you’re in safe hands.

  • Feel and see a change within yourself immediately
  • Experience deep relaxation
  • Have instant control and confidence during and after your session
  • Allow your subconscious mind to function on making the connections and links it needs to from the suggestions which were made during the session.


Alongside hypnosis, I use a combination of several techniques to quickly dissipate your unwanted strongest negative feelings and emotions. Once these are under control, changes happen rapidly.

I work differently, using my skill set to move your mind and focus forward. For the brain to repair and reconnect it needs to set goals and see value in the future. Using these as my guidelines we work together to create your new direction quickly.

How long will PTSD Counselling take?

Effective treatment with a PTSD counsellor usually takes between 7 – 12 sessions but in some cases could continue for some time. Sessions are one hour long and at times it may be necessary to ask you to complete additional work, exercises, and techniques at home to guarantee continued success. In essence, I want to teach you self-care and what to do when you need to manage your thoughts.

I use an ‘Integrated Therapy System’ or ‘ITS” using the best of several techniques to quickly dissipate your unwanted strong negative feelings and emotions. Once these are under control, changes happen rapidly.

Sessions are priced as a package of  7 one-hour meetings (either in person or online) to enable a plan to be followed, greatly increasing success rates for clients. The  initial discovery call can take place either in person or over Zoom (video conferencing), the telephone or face-to-face at Bedford Heights. This ensures you get to know exactly how I work and for us both to see if we can work together. The discovery call allows you to explain exactly what you want to achieve during our work together. This is a no obligation session and not charged if you choose not to book a package. We no longer offer individually priced sessions or one-offs. However the 7 session package offers very good value for money.

Book a free discovery call to find out how I can help you further, no matter whether you’re based in Bedford, Milton Keynes or Northampton.