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Long-term psychotherapy in trauma recovery – a consumer perspective

Long-term psychotherapy in trauma recovery – a consumer perspective

This paper reviews my psychotherapeutic journey of recovery from a traumatic childhood. When my niece’s death triggered a ‘breakdown’, my medical backgound was of no assistance. As I grew anxious, developed panic attacks, became depressed, suicidal and experienced nightmares and flashbacks I thought I was losing my mind. I consulted a clinical psychologist thinking that a few sessions would ‘fix me’. I had little insight into myself, my inner world, my relationships or my functioning. Nor did I appreciate the significance of the 10 year gap in my conscious recall. Despite my therapist providing a safe reliable and contained space it took me an inordinate period of time to trust her or realise that she could keep me in mind. She was empathic, compassionate and skilled and established a therapeutic relationship core my survival and my recovery. Over the years she bore witness to whatever I brought into the room, to the floods of dissociated fragments of trauma returning to my consciousness, and threatening to overwhelm me.

Through a committed analytical psychotherapeutic process she guided me from terror and confusion through chaos to acceptance and understanding. I have now taken the fragments of my memories and of myself and through integration can function as a whole being for the first time, with my own unique feelings and choices, and the capacity to reflect, form deeper relationships and embrace a full rich life. This presentation will highlight a life-saving psychotherapeutic process from a consumer perspective.

Areas of Interest / Categories: Child and Adolescent Health, Dreams, Psychotherapy, Trauma, WCP 2011

WCP 2011

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