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Trauma-informed therapy and how it can help you

By Ellie Mackay, UKCP registered Psychotherapist at Dynamo Psychotherapy, Counselling and Psychology.

Kingston upon Hull HU3 2SJ

Have you been diagnosed with any of the following?

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Etc?

Have you been given antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication and put on a waiting list to see a therapist or counsellor? Or have you had a few sessions with a therapist or counsellor and it hasn’t even touched the surface?

Psychotherapy is changing. Psychotherapy is becoming trauma-informed and moving away from diagnoses and the medical model, described above.

Modern psychotherapy is looking at the effect of childhood trauma on people’s adult experience and lives.

Trauma can come from abuse, neglect or tragic accidents or events in people’s lives. It can also be a result of difficult aspects of childhood like isolation, bullying, living in poverty and dysfunctionality. The effects of experiencing racial discrimination, addiction and alcoholism in the family, witnessing domestic violence or loss of loved ones etc can also be traumatic.

The medical model suggests that trauma is irrelevant and there is a bias towards the individual having something ‘wrong’ with them or that their mental disorders are hereditary, almost as though the disorder has appeared spontaneously. Human ill-ease is framed by the medical model as having a defining label and criteria, symptoms and a clear-cut treatment, which is often heavily reliant on medication alone. This model states that there is a cure, whereas the trauma-informed approach takes a more compassionate, developmental and nuanced view to recovery and has the expectation that healing takes time. Healing takes time but if done by a skilled and trained professional, can be transformative and can avoid what the medical model would call ‘relapses’. I believe that the medical model can be intrinsically traumatizing in itself because it ignores what the person has been through and survived.

Trauma-informed therapy includes an exploration of the following aspects of people’s lived experience:

  • Difficult dynamics in childhood involving the people who were supposed to care for them but couldn’t (often because of their own trauma).
  • Difficult societal moments people’s upbringings were contextualized within.

Trauma-informed psychotherapy also examines:

  • How early trauma impacts people in their day-to-day life, for example causing disruptions to their sleep, eating and health. How trauma results in physical illness, pain and often living in fear.
  • People’s coping mechanisms that attempt to soothe dysregulation. Dysregulation means feeling out of control on a bodily and nervous-system level and can include fight, flight or freeze responses. These attempts at self-regulation can involve addiction, self-harm, dissociation, compulsions and obsessions.
  • How early splitting mentally from parts of ourselves in order to survive trauma as a child can continue into adulthood. Therapy can help with re-integrating these parts and achieving peace.This can help us stay in the present and not be stuck in the repeated re-experiencing of the trauma-sensations that are activated by triggers.
  • How getting closure on past unresolved traumas can free up mental space in our busy minds, make room for hope and add vitality to our bodies.

Working with me allows you to feel held in your distress, I can offer containment for your panic, sadness, grief, despair, I can be with you every step of the way. It’s not about delving deep into the trauma and unravelling it so that it overwhelms and re-traumatizes you. It’s about looking at the impact of trauma in your current relationships, your work, health, body, etc in the here and now. I work carefully to explore, at your pace, how to grow, through awareness and support, into a healthy person who can thrive.

The benefits of counselling

Welcome to Dynamo Psychotherapy Blog

Here to Help

The Benefits of counselling

Psychotherapy is just a technical word for entering into a dialogue with a trained psychotherapy or counselling professional. The therapist is empathic (can put herself in your shoes) and is there to listen in a professional way. This listening has certain parameters which aid people to examine their life and what is going on for them psychologically.
In therapy, I offer people who are struggling with depression or anxiety and other problems a way forward by looking at what they are going through in a safe (ethically bound) and confidential way. I use methods and techniques that I am highly skilled at, such as ‘the empty chair technique’ or identifying trauma or ‘integration’. I work on attachment issues – how the relationship with our parents or carers has shaped the way we relate to others and ourselves.  My counselling aims towards self-regulation: staying ‘grounded’ and ‘sane’, or coping on a day to day basis. I  look at the person as a whole being, not just as a set of symptoms. I understand how diet, sleep hygiene and exercise can affect our mental health. In counselling I also observe how physical illness, harm and self-harm, trauma, neglect, and abuse have an effect on our mental wellbeing, even it happened a long time ago.
I work in the ‘here and now’ but I hold in mind what has happened to the person since they were in the womb and how the past has affected what they are going through now.
This is achieved by learning to use introspection: being guided by me to look through a therapeutic lens at ourselves. I teach people to be gentle and compassionate towards themselves and to settle the inner critic who can get very vicious sometimes, especially when we have suffered abuse or neglect.
I work in a relational way which means the focus is on the relationship between us and how I affect the client and the client affects me and how that mirrors how my client is in the world, with all their conflicts and struggles.
I do not diagnose mental illnesses or use labels. However, I have an understanding of the labels used by doctors and can use them to aid my work, as a framework.

Psychotherapy Hull – Dynamo in the news

Earlier today, Dynamo Psychotherapy announced the launch of its new Psychotherapy service, set to go live 16th September 2017. For anyone with a passing interest in the world of psychotherapy, this new development will be worth paying attention to, as it’s set to shake things up in the Hull area.

More information is available at https://dynamopsychotherapy.co.uk

Psychotherapy Hull in the Media

Currently, even at a passing glance, a suffering person is desperate and willing to try and share problems with someone who will listen. The Owner at Dynamo Psychotherapy, Ellie Mackay, makes a point of saying “things are going to change when our psychotherapy service launches”.

Ellie Mackay continues… “We are willing to support you to overcome your anxiety. We do this because we believe in a gentle and compassionate, confidential and caring service. Ultimately this is going to be a huge benefit to our customers because when struggling with mental health problems we often go to family or friend for support and this helps. But sometimes when things become too overwhelming even for them to help, we all need somebody unbiased and professional to turn to”.

Dynamo Psychotherapy was established in 2013. It has been doing business for 4 years and it has always aimed to help people who have depression, anxiety and other issues, no matter how passing or enduring. Ellie helps people get through their problems in an understanding, non-judgemental, safe way, whilst maintaining the highest levels of confidentiality. This alone is predicted to make Dynamo Psychotherapy’s Psychotherapy service more popular with customers in the Psychotherapy space, quickly.

Dynamo Psychotherapy abide by the code of Ethics of Scarborough Psychotherapy Training institute (ScPTI). This means they offer complete confidentiality – Ellie keeps everything the client tells to herself, except if there is a risk to the client’s life or somebody else’s. Ellie receives fortnightly clinical supervision so that she can offer a service that is based on clinical guidance and best practice.

Once again, this Psychotherapy service is set to launch 16th September 2017. To find out more, please to visit https://dynamopsychotherapy.co.uk

Contact Info:
Name: Ellie Mackay
Organization: Dynamo Psychotherapy
Address: 69 Coltman Street, Hull, England HU3 2SJ, United Kingdom