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SXPY-trauma-icon-2020

Adult Trauma Services

At Sussex Psychology we offer specialist trauma services to support adults who have been through traumatic life experiences. We have a number of therapists who have undergone specialist training to work with trauma.

SXPY-trauma-icon-2020

Adult Trauma Services

At Sussex Psychology we offer specialist trauma services to support adults who have been through traumatic life experiences. We have a number of therapists who have undergone specialist training to work with trauma.

SXPY-trauma-icon-2020

Adult Trauma Services

At Sussex Psychology we offer specialist trauma services to support adults who have been through traumatic life experiences. We have a number of therapists who have undergone specialist training to work with trauma.

SXPY-trauma-icon-2020

Adult Trauma Services

At Sussex Psychology we offer specialist trauma services to support adults who have been through traumatic life experiences. We have a number of therapists who have undergone specialist training to work with trauma.

Trauma Services for Adults

Traumatic life experiences can have a devastating effect on a person’s life, often leaving them vulnerable to recover without highly skilled professional support.  Our trauma therapists come with finely tuned therapeutic skills to work sensitively with adults who have suffered from adversity and traumatic life experiences.

Trauma is a ‘normal’ reaction to frightening events.  It can be caused by witnessing or experiencing extremely distressing or potentially life-threatening events.  The research tells us that the impact of trauma is often related to nature, timing and frequency of traumatic life experiences.  The impact of trauma on our capacity to feel safe and secure in the world can be devastating.

Our hope is by gently pacing the work to match the unique therapeutic needs of each individual, we will see a gradual shift from unpredictable threat to reliable safety; from surviving in isolation to thriving in connection.

No recovery from trauma is possible without attending to issues of safety, care for the self, reparative connections to other human beings and a renewed faith in the universe. Janina Fisher

Trauma Services for Adults

Traumatic life experiences can have a devastating effect on a person’s life, often leaving them vulnerable to recover without highly skilled professional support.  Our trauma therapists come with finely tuned therapeutic skills to work sensitively with adults who have suffered from adversity and traumatic life experiences.

Trauma is a ‘normal’ reaction to frightening events.  It can be caused by witnessing or experiencing extremely distressing or potentially life-threatening events.  The research tells us that the impact of trauma is often related to nature, timing and frequency of traumatic life experiences.  The impact of trauma on our capacity to feel safe and secure in the world can be devastating.

Our hope is by gently pacing the work to match the unique therapeutic needs of each individual, we will see a gradual shift from unpredictable threat to reliable safety; from surviving in isolation to thriving in connection.

No recovery from trauma is possible without attending to issues of safety, care for the self, reparative connections to other human beings and a renewed faith in the universe. Janina Fisher

Trauma Services for Adults

Traumatic life experiences can have a devastating effect on a person’s life, often leaving them vulnerable to recover without highly skilled professional support.  Our trauma therapists come with finely tuned therapeutic skills to work sensitively with adults who have suffered from adversity and traumatic life experiences.

Trauma is a ‘normal’ reaction to frightening events.  It can be caused by witnessing or experiencing extremely distressing or potentially life-threatening events.  The research tells us that the impact of trauma is often related to nature, timing and frequency of traumatic life experiences.  The impact of trauma on our capacity to feel safe and secure in the world can be devastating.

Our hope is by gently pacing the work to match the unique therapeutic needs of each individual, we will see a gradual shift from unpredictable threat to reliable safety; from surviving in isolation to thriving in connection.

No recovery from trauma is possible without attending to issues of safety, care for the self, reparative connections to other human beings and a renewed faith in the universe. Janina Fisher

Trauma Services for Adults

Traumatic life experiences can have a devastating effect on a person’s life, often leaving them vulnerable to recover without highly skilled professional support.  Our trauma therapists come with finely tuned therapeutic skills to work sensitively with adults who have suffered from adversity and traumatic life experiences.

Trauma is a ‘normal’ reaction to frightening events.  It can be caused by witnessing or experiencing extremely distressing or potentially life-threatening events.  The research tells us that the impact of trauma is often related to nature, timing and frequency of traumatic life experiences.  The impact of trauma on our capacity to feel safe and secure in the world can be devastating.

Our hope is by gently pacing the work to match the unique therapeutic needs of each individual, we will see a gradual shift from unpredictable threat to reliable safety; from surviving in isolation to thriving in connection.

No recovery from trauma is possible without attending to issues of safety, care for the self, reparative connections to other human beings and a renewed faith in the universe. Janina Fisher

Different forms of Trauma

The unfolding impact of traumatic life experiences are unique for each individual.  Being traumatised often means we are left feeling as if the traumatic event is still happening.  The body in its wisdom adapts to protect us which is one of the reasons why there are different forms of trauma.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is often described as an acute anxiety disorder which is caused by very difficult, frightening or distressful life events.  Symptoms of PTSD can develop following exposure to any frightening experience involving shock, such as an accident, a natural disaster or violent assault.  Sometimes, giving birth to a newborn baby can also be experienced as traumatic. 

The key features of PTSD broadly fall into four overarching categories:

  • Re-experiencing and intrusive symptoms arising in the form of frightening vivid flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive images and intense body sensations such as tingling, trembling, shaking, intense nausea, fluctuations in body temperature
  • Avoidance of any reminder of the traumatic event, including avoiding thinking or talking about what happened, doing certain activities or being in situations that may trigger trauma memories
  • Negative alterations in cognition and mood are often experienced in the form of persistent and intense emotional states of fear, horror, guilt and toxic shame that also may lead to self-condemning and self-attacking patterns of thinking
  • Alterations in arousal and reactivity are often experienced through heightened states of vigilance – a sense of living in a perpetual state of dread as if watching and waiting for something bad to happen. This is often accompanied by an intense feeling of being on edge alongside increased sensitivity to certain sights, smells and sounds

Typically, symptoms of PTSD develop within the first month after a traumatic experience, although in some cases, there is a delayed onset of several months or in rare cases, years.

Complex PTSD

In Complex PTSD, exposure to trauma often occurs over a more prolonged period of time (several months to years even), which can have a devastating impact on a person’s capacity to function in everyday life and on their sense of self. 

Some examples of the kind of traumatic experiences that may lead to the development of Complex PTSD may include:

  • Prolonged exposure to domestic violence
  • Physical and/or sexual violence in childhood
  • Human trafficking
  • Organised sexual exploitation
  • Torture arising from war and political conflict
  • Trauma arising from the on-going displacement of refugees

Adults who have suffered from early life experiences of adversity and trauma, such as growing up in a neglectful and abusive home environment may go on to develop Complex PTSD (C-PTSD). The symptom profile of complex trauma includes core symptoms of PTSD as well as some notably distinct additional difficulties:

  • Compromised capacity to regulate emotions   
  • Significant disturbances in close and intimate relationships
  • Changes in perception and experience of self; deep sense of self as being defective in some way

Dissociative Disorders

Adults whose early life histories are marked by severe neglect and trauma may suffer from extreme forms of disconnection which can lead to profound disruptions in their perception and experience of self. The severity of these symptoms can vary but may range from the experience of amnesia to the emergence of different self-identities. There are three distinct forms of dissociation:

Dissociative amnesia

This form of dissociation otherwise known as ‘missing time’ is often triggered by overwhelming distress or traumatic life events. This is typically characterised by experiences of amnesia for brief periods of time or gaps in daily memory not explicable by ordinary forgetfulness. The onset is usually quite sudden and may only last a few minutes or perhaps hours; more rarely, months or years.

Depersonalisation-derealisation disorder

The combined diagnosis of depersonalisation and derealisation disorder is relatively new for DSM-V.  While some adults may have distinct experiences of depersonalisation or derealisation, for others they tend to co-occur.

  • Depersonalisation is often marked by a strong sense of feeling disconnected from your own thoughts, feelings and body as if floating in air above yourself. Often this is accompanied with strong feelings of emotional and physical numbness where parts of the body are experienced as if not present  
  • Derealisation is often characterised by the experience of other people or familiar surrounding as ‘unreal’. It’s more akin to a sense of living in a dreamlike state and the people you care about as separated by a glass wall. Disturbances in the perception of objects (being too close or very distant) is also common

Dissociative Identity disorder

Dissociative identity disorder often evolves from early life experiences of severe trauma and neglect. Such traumatic experiences can lead to a fragmentation or splitting of self into separate parts that hold their own memories, thoughts and feelings. Adults who suffer from dissociative identity disorder are known to experience:

  • Distinctive shifts in consciousness leading to disturbances in sense of identity
  • Different parts that have their own alternate sense of agency and selfhood
  • Highly functional and more conscious parts that have their own skills and talents often serving the priorities associated with the ‘going on with normal life self’
  • Less conscious parts that serve survival needs are often more vulnerable to ‘lose time’
The body’s intelligence is largely an untapped resource in psychotherapy, yet the story told by the somatic narrative – gesture, posture, prosody, facial expression, eye gaze and movement are arguably more significant than the story told by words. Pat Ogden
The body’s intelligence is largely an untapped resource in psychotherapy, yet the story told by the somatic narrative – gesture, posture, prosody, facial expression, eye gaze and movement are arguably more significant than the story told by words. Pat Ogden
The body’s intelligence is largely an untapped resource in psychotherapy, yet the story told by the somatic narrative – gesture, posture, prosody, facial expression, eye gaze and movement are arguably more significant than the story told by words. Pat Ogden
The body’s intelligence is largely an untapped resource in psychotherapy, yet the story told by the somatic narrative – gesture, posture, prosody, facial expression, eye gaze and movement are arguably more significant than the story told by words. Pat Ogden
purple leaf icon

Referral and first steps

The first step in making a referral is simply to ring us on 01903 206738 or if you prefer you can also email us on enquiries@sussexpsychology.co.uk.  You will find our small office team genuinely warm and sensitive to any questions you may have. 

We know it’s really hard to make this first step, and how overwhelming it can feel to reach out for the first time.  Sometimes it feels too much to contact us directly without the support of a friend or relative who may ring on your behalf.  We are happy to talk to them as long as they have consent for us to do so.  Similarly, if you are a professional and are concerned or worried about an adult under your care, we are happy to talk to you directly as long as you have their permission.

Before we commence with an assessment for trauma, we may need a little more information from you so we can think about who in our team would be more suited to your current clinical needs.  Our team secretary will contact you to arrange a brief telephone call with one of our clinical team at a time that is convenient for you.

purple leaf icon

The Assessment Process

Our clinic, Edein House, is discreetly situated in a quiet and unassuming local residential area. Many of the adults that come to us have shared how relieved they were to step into such a warm and homely therapeutic environment. Others have commented how much they appreciated their privacy being protected by the anonymity of the location. 

Our assessment for trauma in adults generally varies between one and four sessions. In some cases, where the traumatic event relates to a specific incident or accident the assessment and treatment process is more straightforward. In other cases, we may need more time to fully consider the complexity of your therapeutic needs. 

The key aim of the assessment is for us to work together to develop a therapeutic understanding of your current difficulties within the context of your early life experiences. This incorporates understanding:       

  • The nature of your early life experiences and how they may relate to current difficulties
  • What was happening in your life during early childhood, adolescence and through to adulthood
  • The unfolding Impacts of early life experience on your everyday life at this moment in time
  • Your own unique ways of surviving adversity and how that may have helped or hindered you in dealing with the everyday challenges of relationships

In many ways, the assessment can be seen as a first tentative step towards therapeutic treatment.  It offers us a window of opportunity for us to explore what happened to you within the context of what’s happening now. Our wish is for you to leave the assessment with a renewed sense of hope and feel confident that with the right kind of therapeutic support recovery is possible.

purple leaf icon

What happens next?

Once our assessment is complete, the next step generally involves;

  • Arranging a therapeutic feedback consultation
  • Share our formulation and recommendations for treatment
  • Discuss any questions or concerns you may have about our therapeutic treatment plan

Additional Specialist Assessments:

Sometimes, a dual approach to therapeutic care may also be helpful, especially if your trauma-related symptoms are undermining your capacity to function with the challenges of everyday life.  We may suggest that an additional assessment with a Consultant Psychiatrist who is sensitive to the therapeutic needs of adults who have survived traumatic life experiences. 

As a service, our approach to therapeutic care is biologically respectful and developmentally sensitive.  We strive to adopt a more holistic philosophy; one that fully encompasses brain, mind and body.  This means:

  • We prefer to think about what may be troubling you through a developmental and attachment focussed lens beginning with early life experience through to present time 
  • We are committed to restoring your emotional and psychological well-being and are mindful that your therapeutic needs are understood in ways that support safety, stability and healing
  • We work closely with a small team of Consultant Adult Psychiatrists who place a lot of emphasis on more gentle and holistic ways of working

We understand how hard it is to take this step but often a combined approach to therapeutic care can add an additional layer of support and stability in preparation for therapy.

purple leaf icon

Referral and first steps

The first step in making a referral is simply to ring us on 01903 206738 or if you prefer you can also email us on enquiries@sussexpsychology.co.uk.  You will find our small office team genuinely warm and sensitive to any questions you may have. 

We know it’s really hard to make this first step, and how overwhelming it can feel to reach out for the first time.  Sometimes it feels too much to contact us directly without the support of a friend or relative who may ring on your behalf.  We are happy to talk to them as long as they have consent for us to do so.  Similarly, if you are a professional and are concerned or worried about an adult under your care, we are happy to talk to you directly as long as you have their permission.

Before we commence with an assessment for trauma, we may need a little more information from you so we can think about who in our team would be more suited to your current clinical needs.  Our team secretary will contact you to arrange a brief telephone call with one of our clinical team at a time that is convenient for you.

purple leaf icon

The Assessment Process

Our clinic, Edein House, is discreetly situated in a quiet and unassuming local residential area. Many of the adults that come to us have shared how relieved they were to step into such a warm and homely therapeutic environment. Others have commented how much they appreciated their privacy being protected by the anonymity of the location. 

Our assessment for trauma in adults generally varies between one and four sessions. In some cases, where the traumatic event relates to a specific incident or accident the assessment and treatment process is more straightforward. In other cases, we may need more time to fully consider the complexity of your therapeutic needs. 

The key aim of the assessment is for us to work together to develop a therapeutic understanding of your current difficulties within the context of your early life experiences. This incorporates understanding:       

  • The nature of your early life experiences and how they may relate to current difficulties
  • What was happening in your life during early childhood, adolescence and through to adulthood
  • The unfolding Impacts of early life experience on your everyday life at this moment in time
  • Your own unique ways of surviving adversity and how that may have helped or hindered you in dealing with the everyday challenges of relationships

In many ways, the assessment can be seen as a first tentative step towards therapeutic treatment.  It offers us a window of opportunity for us to explore what happened to you within the context of what’s happening now. Our wish is for you to leave the assessment with a renewed sense of hope and feel confident that with the right kind of therapeutic support recovery is possible.

purple leaf icon

What happens next?

Once our assessment is complete, the next step generally involves;

  • Arranging a therapeutic feedback consultation
  • Share our formulation and recommendations for treatment
  • Discuss any questions or concerns you may have about our therapeutic treatment plan

Additional Specialist Assessments:

Sometimes, a dual approach to therapeutic care may also be helpful, especially if your trauma-related symptoms are undermining your capacity to function with the challenges of everyday life.  We may suggest that an additional assessment with a Consultant Psychiatrist who is sensitive to the therapeutic needs of adults who have survived traumatic life experiences. 

As a service, our approach to therapeutic care is biologically respectful and developmentally sensitive.  We strive to adopt a more holistic philosophy; one that fully encompasses brain, mind and body.  This means:

  • We prefer to think about what may be troubling you through a developmental and attachment focussed lens beginning with early life experience through to present time 
  • We are committed to restoring your emotional and psychological well-being and are mindful that your therapeutic needs are understood in ways that support safety, stability and healing 
  • We work closely with a small team of Consultant Adult Psychiatrists who place a lot of emphasis on more gentle and holistic ways of working

We understand how hard it is to take this step but often a combined approach to therapeutic care can add an additional layer of support and stability in preparation for therapy.

purple leaf icon

Referral and first steps

The first step in making a referral is simply to ring us on 01903 206738 or if you prefer you can also email us on enquiries@sussexpsychology.co.uk.  You will find our small office team genuinely warm and sensitive to any questions you may have. 

We know it’s really hard to make this first step, and how overwhelming it can feel to reach out for the first time.  Sometimes it feels too much to contact us directly without the support of a friend or relative who may ring on your behalf.  We are happy to talk to them as long as they have consent for us to do so.  Similarly, if you are a professional and are concerned or worried about an adult under your care, we are happy to talk to you directly as long as you have their permission.

Before we commence with an assessment for trauma, we may need a little more information from you so we can think about who in our team would be more suited to your current clinical needs.  Our team secretary will contact you to arrange a brief telephone call with one of our clinical team at a time that is convenient for you.

purple leaf icon

The Assessment Process

Our clinic, Edein House, is discreetly situated in a quiet and unassuming local residential area. Many of the adults that come to us have shared how relieved they were to step into such a warm and homely therapeutic environment. Others have commented how much they appreciated their privacy being protected by the anonymity of the location. 

Our assessment for trauma in adults generally varies between one and four sessions. In some cases, where the traumatic event relates to a specific incident or accident the assessment and treatment process is more straightforward. In other cases, we may need more time to fully consider the complexity of your therapeutic needs. 

The key aim of the assessment is for us to work together to develop a therapeutic understanding of your current difficulties within the context of your early life experiences. This incorporates understanding:       

  • The nature of your early life experiences and how they may relate to current difficulties
  • What was happening in your life during early childhood, adolescence and through to adulthood
  • The unfolding Impacts of early life experience on your everyday life at this moment in time
  • Your own unique ways of surviving adversity and how that may have helped or hindered you in dealing with the everyday challenges of relationships

In many ways, the assessment can be seen as a first tentative step towards therapeutic treatment.  It offers us a window of opportunity for us to explore what happened to you within the context of what’s happening now. Our wish is for you to leave the assessment with a renewed sense of hope and feel confident that with the right kind of therapeutic support recovery is possible.

purple leaf icon

What happens next?

Once our assessment is complete, the next step generally involves;

  • Arranging a therapeutic feedback consultation
  • Share our formulation and recommendations for treatment
  • Discuss any questions or concerns you may have about our therapeutic treatment plan

Additional Specialist Assessments:

Sometimes, a dual approach to therapeutic care may also be helpful, especially if your trauma-related symptoms are undermining your capacity to function with the challenges of everyday life.  We may suggest that an additional assessment with a Consultant Psychiatrist who is sensitive to the therapeutic needs of adults who have survived traumatic life experiences. 

As a service, our approach to therapeutic care is biologically respectful and developmentally sensitive.  We strive to adopt a more holistic philosophy; one that fully encompasses brain, mind and body.  This means:

  • We prefer to think about what may be troubling you through a developmental and attachment focussed lens beginning with early life experience through to present time 
  • We are committed to restoring your emotional and psychological well-being and are mindful that your therapeutic needs are understood in ways that support safety, stability and healing 
  • We work closely with a small team of Consultant Adult Psychiatrists who place a lot of emphasis on more gentle and holistic ways of working

We understand how hard it is to take this step but often a combined approach to therapeutic care can add an additional layer of support and stability in preparation for therapy.

Therapeutic Approach

Healing from trauma is a delicate balance between safety and risk.  Therapy itself can evoke very disturbing memories, strong emotions, body responses and survival defences that can temporarily intensify your symptoms or feelings of distress.  Without reactivating or remembering what happened to us in a safe therapeutic space we often lose the opportunity to learn how to track and modulate our reactions, strengthen our capacity to tolerate emotional distress and develop the resources required to process the pain of the past.   

One of the central tasks of trauma therapy is to create an embodied sense of safety.  This helps to build a foundational platform to commence the work of stabilisation.  The research tells us that recovery from all forms of trauma can only take place within the context of a safe healing relationship.  It also tells us that effective therapeutic treatment needs to be paced and sequenced to safely support recovery.  This means that therapeutic work needs to happen in stages.    

Typically, trauma informed therapy is sequenced in three stages:

Phase one: Safety and Stability

The fundamental principle of the first stage of trauma treatment is on establishing safety and stability.  This piece of work will focus on identifying core strengths and developing key skills to support stabilisation and regulation.  We will work to support you recognise and acknowledge your own unique survival resources and help identify those that that may get in the way of recovery.  We will also focus on recruiting the wisdom of the body as a key resource to help replace some of your survival resources with more creative ones.  Growing a repertoire of creative resources will support your developing capacity for self-regulation. 

Phase two: Processing Traumatic Memories

The key priority of this piece of work is on the story of what happened; what can be described as the unremembered past.  We dedicate a great deal of time and attention to this part of our work, gently pacing each step to ensure that we’re working within your capacity to tolerate any emerging distress. Here, the goal is to help shift awareness from the verbal description of what happened to the legacy (effects) of those events; their unfolding impacts on your life now in the present.  In learning to utilise your creative resources to mitigate some of the overwhelming ‘effects’ of these implicit memories rather than continue to relive or avoid them.

Phase three: Reconnection and Moving Forward

This stage of the therapeutic works focusses more on turning our attention to building your capacity to engage more fully with life, especially those aspects of everyday living that may have been neglected as well as intimate relationships.  Our goal is to support you enjoy the rewards of all that life may offer rather than deprive yourself of them; to feel nourished and enriched by relationships rather than fearful of them.  We learn to challenge the patterns of the past by reaching out to others for connection and explore new ways of being in the world.

A phase-oriented approach to trauma treatment does not mean that therapy will necessarily follow a fixed linear pathway.  Each phase has its own goals, interventions and skill-building requirements and simply forms a loose structure around the unique therapeutic needs of each individual.  By pacing and sequencing each piece of work in ways matched to your own therapeutic needs our hope is to see a gradual shift from unpredictable threat to reliable safety; from surviving in isolation to thriving in connection.

Some of the trauma focused therapies we offer include: 

  • Art Psychotherapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM)
  • Compassionate Focussed Trauma Therapy
  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
  • Schema Therapy
  • Trauma Focussed CBT
adult-trauma-v1-ol

Some of the trauma focused therapies we offer include: 

  • Art Psychotherapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM)
  • Compassionate Focussed Trauma Therapy
  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
  • Schema Therapy
  • Trauma Focussed CBT
adult-trauma-v1-ol
adult-trauma-v1-ol

Some of the trauma focused therapies we offer include: 

  • Art Psychotherapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM)
  • Compassionate Focussed Trauma Therapy
  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
  • Schema Therapy
  • Trauma Focussed CBT

Request a consultation

Request a consultation