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Trauma - Shame - Guilt

Trauma - Shame - Guilt

Trauma and PTSD

Trauma can have complex and varied symptoms which are not always or immediately noticeable. Coping mechanisms hide the distress from view.

We often associate trauma with ‘Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome’ (PTSD), and as occurring from war and witnessing horrific scenes. Yet, it also arises from a one-off shock, violent acts, ongoing neglect, shaming, abuse, illness and domestic violence.
It can build up over time in childhood and be reinforced by later experiences.

The  trauma can evolve and grow. Some of the symtoms are: having trouble trusting people, being unable to establish relationships, lacking hope, experiencing  difficulty in achieving goals, anxiety, social anxiety (anxiety in dealing with people), addictions, eating disorders and volatile or repressed emotions.

Trauma embeds into our unconscious mind and can cut us off from experiencing life fully….

Emotion Focused Counselling provides a safe space and gentle approach to help overcome the trauma. In the counselling session, you regulate how we progress. My role is to guide, assist, and support you. To know more, visit my page on How I work.


Shame is a universal experience that happens to most people at one time or another.  An example being, when private information which we did not want others to know becomes public, and we are, or believe we are, subjected to negative judgement.

When it is always present, it is held in our unconscious beliefs and may paralyse our life. It is complex and usually hidden away. The ‘hidden and held’ beliefs of which there is no awareness, create self-talk, telling us we are contemptible, defective, unacceptable, damaged, disgusting and so on.

The person suffers in silence. They may experience isolation and feel disconnected from others without knowing why.

these negative beliefs may have begun in childhood. Shame activates our inner defence mechanisms and can block self-actualisation. see Self-Esteem.

In the counselling space, we carefully and gently communicate with these beliefs and the coping responses. The healing comes as we become aware of, and acknowledge the beliefs and inner self-talk.


Guilt may have the positive effect of motivating the righting of a wrong or mistake.

When it happens often or we constantly feel guilty about anything that goes wrong, over-estimating or even imagining our responsibility, it creates unnecessary levels of anxiety and possibly feelings of shame.

Constant guilt is tormenting, and can cause sleeplessness due to worry. There can be reliving the event almost obsessively. It may point to an unrealistic perception of events that accentuates or creates fear and issues with self-esteem, and confidence.

Transpersonal Counselling brings awareness of the inner self-talk, which creates guilt. Then a balanced perspective which more accurately reflects reality has the opportunity to replace it.

See –  My approach.