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Trauma Therapy

 

How do we define a trauma?

In affected individuals, a trauma is an overwhelming experience that triggers fear, panic, helplessness and the sense of having their life threatened. A trauma can become a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which in turn can lead to illnesses such as depression or anxiety disorders, as well as somatic diseases, if it is not treated.

Symptoms may manifest in the form of uncontrolled images and thoughts, as well as in strong physical reactions, when recalling the event. Other consequences may be nightmares and sleep disorders. Furthermore, the consequences of trauma often have an effect on the interpersonal domain. Feelings of alienation make it more difficult for you to deal with other people. You feel insecure and isolated. You sometimes feel numb and cut off from others, and then are flooded in turn by unpleasant memories so that peaceful and pleasurable moments are rare. You do not feel safe in your body nor in your life.

There are two types of traumas: Type I traumas are one-time events such as an accident or attack. Type II events are recurring traumatic events such as domestic violence or torture. If you were subjected to a long-lasting traumatizing situation as a child, this is called a developmental trauma. A distinction is made here between the cases of neglect and abuse. Neglect means that your basic psychological and physical needs such as protection, affection, food and cleanliness were either not adequately or not reliably fulfilled. These abuse situations may be psychological or physical in nature. They include humiliation and debasement but also verbal violence. Physical abuse is when you were sexually abused or subjected to physical violence.

The symptoms of both complex trauma and developmental trauma are diverse. Depressions, borderline disorders, fear or panic attacks, pain disorders such as fibromyalgia, low self-esteem and self-hatred, etc. may develop. Since complex traumas are always also relationship traumas, the consequences may also be apparent in difficulties that arise when interacting with others.

Symptoms

Examples of symptoms

  • The feeling of being back in the traumatic situation again
  • Uncontrollable images and thoughts
    Psychological or physical reactions when thinking of the event
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep disorders
  • Feeling cut off from yourself – physically and emotionally
  • Avoiding places, people and thoughts that remind you of the event
  • Memory gaps
  • Extreme alertness
  • Concentration disorders
  • Nervousness and jumpiness
  • Feelings of isolation and numbness
  • Irritability
  • Difficulties in the contact with other people

Goals of the trauma therapy

  • Feeling safe and at home in your body
  • No longer being overwhelmed by your feelings
  • Being able to relax and enjoy
  • Having good contact with yourself and your body
  • Being lively and confident, and developing your visions and plans
  • Experiencing a good quality of life and vitality
  • Feeling your own strength
  • The ability to perform and enjoyment of your achievements
  • Having good contact with others and cultivating loving relationships
     

Trauma Therapy Approaches

Trauma therapy means being accompanied and facing memories within a protected framework so that you can process and integrate them into your life.

I have an integrative approach, which means that I adapt the treatment to your traumatic experiences and your needs so that various therapy processes can be used. My approach is transparent: You receive answers to your questions, recognize the correlations between the trauma and your symptoms, and are informed about the approach and therapy goals so that you can actively contribute to the process.

I work in a body-oriented way. Physical sensations and experiences play an essential role in the symptoms of trauma. I therefore include the somatic experiencing in the therapy. The goal is for you to be able to master your physical sensations and emotions even in difficult moments and regain a feeling of self-efficacy and trust in yourself in this way.

=>How does trauma therapy work (PDF)? PDF will open in a new window.


The trauma therapy takes place in the following three phases:

1) Stabilization and affect regulation
In order to tolerate exposure and be able to talk about the experiences, feelings and effects of a trauma, in the phase of stabilization, we work out tools that empower you to slow down and control your emotions and physical reactions so that you no longer feel at their mercy. The elements of Trauma-Sensitive Yoga are also used here.

2) Exposure
The term exposure is from the Latin expositio; in literal terms, it means "exposition." In the exposure therapy, I will accompany you within a protected framework and structured form in remembering your traumatic experiences so that you can process them.

3) Integration
We speak about your losses, the betrayal that you experienced, your phases of hopelessness, pain, and fear, your anger, powerlessness, and grief. In this way, you can consider your past as having already occurred and are capable of shaping your future.

Trauma Therapie Methods

BEPP - Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy for PTSD
The therapy contains various therapy approaches that include exposure and cognitive elements, but also has a psychodynamic approach that directs attention to the meaning of the trauma.

Brainspotting
Brainspotting is a body-oriented process that uses the eye positions (brainspot) to get access to the physical sensations, feelings, and memories connected with the trauma. By maintaining the eye position, the physically and emotionally burdening experiences can be worked through and integrated.

CPT - Cognitive Processing Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD. In addition to exposure, the focus is on changing the limiting beliefs that have been created through the trauma.

Ego State Therapy - Work with parts of the personality
Above all, a fragmentation of the personality can be observed in cases of early childhood traumas. The parts are given their say and are heard. The goal is an integration of the different parts.

EMDR: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Through fast, guided eye movements during the trauma exposure, it is possible to newly store the memories and change the limiting beliefs.

NET - Narrative Exposure Therapy
On a Life Line, the events of a life are symbolized, discussed in chronological order, and integrated into the person’s life as a result. 

PE - Prolonged Exposure
The trauma exposure is conducted slowly and repeatedly so that a habituation effect occurs.  

SE - Somatic Experience
A trauma is on a physiological level an unsuccessfully completed flight or fight response. The dissolution of the frozen psycho-emotional and physical reactions is the focus of attention.  

TCTSY - Trauma Sensitive Yoga
A trauma is burned into the body and manifests itself mainly in physical reactions to stress. Yoga in individual therapy and in groups aids in regulating emotions and dealing with physical reactions to traumatic stress.

SE - Somatic Experience
On the physiological level, a trauma is a fight-or-flight impulse that has not been successfully completed. The focus is on dissolving the frozen psychoemotional and physical reactions.  

TSY - Trauma-Sensitive Yoga
A trauma has been burned into the body; above all, it manifests in the physical reactions to stress. Yoga in the individual therapy and in groups offers skills for emotional regulation and coping with the physical reactions to traumatic stress.

 

Appointments & Therapy Costs

The fees for psychological and psychotherapeutic services are based on the calculation base of the Swiss Psychologist professional association (Berufsverband der Schweizer Psychologinnen und Psychologen). The charge for one session (60 min. of conversation and 5 min. of preparation and follow-up) is CHF 150.

Rates below the standard rate are possible for patients with a low income upon consultation. Please note that I reserve the respective session time. If this is not cancelled 24 hours in advance, I will bill for one hour.

How much does the health insurance contribute? My trauma therapy is currently not included in the benefits catalog of the Swiss basic or complementary health insurance.

If your psychological symptoms are related to an accident, the accident insurance will assume the costs for an outpatient psychotherapeutic treatment.

If you have been the victim of a crime and your psychological symptoms are related to it, you can file an application with your Swiss cantonal association for helping victims to have it assume the therapy costs.