A traumatic experience can leave you with
all sorts of disturbing and distressing feelings and memories.
Sometimes even many weeks or months afterwards feelings of fear
and panic continue.
Common descriptions given by those who have experienced a
trauma include nightmares, disrupted sleep, flashbacks of
the incident, panic attacks, over vigilance, irritability and
angry outburst as well as loss of concentration and confidence
even in everyday things that once were taken for granted.
There can also be a sense of not wanting to join in anymore,
withdrawing socially from others including family members.
Symptoms like these can leave you feeling bewildered and
overwhelmed and whilst it is often the case that they clear up
over time for others they can persist and cause problems.
Will I Ever Be
The Person I Once Was?
It's not the case that you don't want to "get back to being
the person you were" or if you experienced a Road Traffic
Accident "don't want to drive again/or be a passenger"
but fear and panic can take over.
Many of the activities in life you once enjoyed and took for
granted can now seem like the equivalent of climbing Mount
You may have become overly vigilant, anxious, nervous and
fearful of bad things happening again - for example you may have
developed a fear of specific situations at work or on the road.
If your personal
injury was a result of a Workplace Accident:
You may have been unable to go back to work or return to the job
you used to do. Your confidence may have suffered and you can
feel a real loss of your old identity. You may find it difficult
to "shake off" unhelpful feelings and worry about small things
that you once took in your stride. Your future may not look as
clear as you had once thought and your plans and goals in life
may have changed due to the nature of your injury.
If your injury
was a result of a Road Traffic Accident:
As a passenger you may find yourself clutching the sides of the
car seat, applying the imaginary brake shouting out
"careful!, look out!" – often much to the annoyance of the
person driving you!
You may no longer drive or be driven on motorways - even short
distances may have to be carefully considered, in order to avoid
certain places or reminders that might act as triggers to the
All of these type of symptoms can be very time consuming or
tiring and often lead to feelings of frustration and
Can I ever get
back to how I was before the traumatic experience ?
The answer is YES!
CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a recognized specific
type of counselling often used to help people recover
psychologically from the symptoms described above.
These symptoms are quite common and often found in a condition
that can develop following a traumatic experience called
post-traumatic stress disorder.
Not everyone who has been involved in a traumatic experience
will suffer from all of the symptoms of this disorder - the
effects of suffering from the symptoms of PTSD can be
devastating and disruptive to everyday life.
CBT is has been found useful in helping restore people to their
former levels of pre-trauma confidence and overcoming the fear
and anxiety that has blighted their lives.
How does it work
and how many sessions of CBT will I need?
CBT works on helping you to make the connections
between how thoughts influence feelings and how feelings then
The number of sessions required can vary depending on the
individual – your CBT therapist will advise you of the number of
sessions usually by the end of your first meeting (Assessment
If a medical report has recommended your treatment includes
In-Vivo exposure as part of the treatment plan then this may
involve your therapist supporting you to gradually (at your own
pace) as you explore your thoughts and feelings about
undertaking tasks you find anxiety provoking in the real world -
for example accompanying you on a short drive to help you reduce
your anxiety and rebuild your confidence as a driver following a
road traffic accident.
Acquired Brain Injury?
If you have been diagnosed with an Acquired Brain Injury please