Listening Ear Counselling & Consultancy Pte Ltd

Unseen Trauma: Recognising the Invisible Impact

Unseen Trauma: Recognising the Invisible Impact By Karl deSouza (Director and Lead Psychotherapist – Listening Ear Counselling & Consultancy Pte Ltd) Trauma is often associated with extreme events like rape, combat experiences, or witnessing a murder. However, trauma can be much more subtle and pervasive, often manifesting in ways that are easily overlooked. As a therapist, I frequently encounter clients who have been labeled as lazy, unmotivated, or struggling with addictions and relationship issues. What is often missed is the underlying trauma driving these behaviors. Invisible Symptoms of Trauma: Laziness: A person who appears lazy might actually be struggling with the aftereffects of trauma. For example, a student labeled as lazy for not completing assignments may be dealing with unresolved trauma that makes it hard for them to focus or find motivation. Procrastination: Chronic procrastination is another symptom that can be rooted in trauma. An employee who consistently delays tasks might be paralyzed by underlying anxiety or fear stemming from past traumatic experiences. Relationship Issues: Individuals who find themselves repeatedly in unhealthy relationships may be experiencing an attachment wound from childhood. This wound can cause them to unconsciously seek out relationships that mirror their early experiences, perpetuating a cycle of hurt. Addictions: Addictions often serve as coping mechanisms for trauma. Someone struggling with substance abuse, gambling, or internet addiction might be using these behaviors to numb the pain of unresolved trauma. As a therapist, I often see parents, teachers, and employers blame individuals for these behaviors without understanding the deeper issues at play. The person under their care might internalize these labels, believing they are inherently bad or failing, which only exacerbates their struggles. Understanding Trauma Responses:Trauma can create deep-seated wounds, particularly in relationships. These wounds shape how individuals view themselves and the world around them. They can lead to behaviors and patterns that are actually responses to trauma, rather than character flaws. For example: A child who grows up in a chaotic home may become hyper-vigilant and struggle to relax, which can be misinterpreted as laziness. Someone who experienced neglect might procrastinate because they were never taught healthy ways to manage tasks and emotions. A person with an attachment wound might repeatedly choose partners who are emotionally unavailable, mirroring the relationships they experienced growing up. At Listening Ear Counselling & Consultancy, we recognize the profound impact of unseen trauma. Our certified trauma therapists are trained in a variety of modalities, including EMDR, IFS, Brainspotting, and Somatic Experiencing (SE). These techniques help unlock the chains of trauma, allowing clients to heal and move forward with their lives. Unlocking the Chain of Trauma:Our approach is holistic and tailored to each individual’s needs. By addressing the root causes of their behaviors and patterns, we help clients understand that their struggles are not personal failings but responses to trauma. This understanding is the first step towards healing. If you or someone you know is struggling with behaviors that seem unexplainable, it may be time to consider the possibility of underlying trauma. At Listening Ear Counselling & Consultancy, we are here to help you navigate this journey and find a path to healing. For more information on our services Visit our website #UnseenTrauma #MentalHealth #Therapy #EMDR #IFS #Brainspotting #SomaticExperiencing #HealingJourney #TraumaTherapy #MentalWellness #AttachmentWounds #AddictionRecovery #Procrastination #Laziness #RelationshipIssues #EmotionalHealing #ListeningEarCounselling References.  Richter-Levin, G., Sandi, C. Title: “Labels Matter: Is it stress or is it Trauma?”. Transl Psychiatry 11, 385 (2021). Danese A, van Harmelen AL. The hidden wounds of childhood trauma. Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2017 Oct 17;8(sup5):137584. doi: 10.1080/20008198.2017.1375840. PMID: 29152161; PMCID: PMC5678436. Nelson CA, Scott RD, Bhutta ZA, Harris NB, Danese A, Samara M. Adversity in childhood is linked to mental and physical health throughout life. BMJ. 2020 Oct 28;371:m3048. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m3048. PMID: 33115717; PMCID: PMC7592151.

Unraveling The Learning Journey: Understanding Trauma’s Impact

Unraveling the Learning Journey: Understanding Trauma’s Impact on Choices In the pursuit of personal growth, we often encounter the poignant wisdom of Dr. Viscott: “If you want to feel secure, do what you already know how to do. But if you want to grow… go to the cutting edge of your competence.” This sentiment echoes through various educational theories, urging us to explore beyond our comfort zones. However, when delving into why some individuals seem resistant to learning from mistakes, it’s crucial to consider the profound influence of trauma on their choices The Learning Zone Model, conceptualized by German adventure pedagogue Tom Senninger, offers a valuable framework. Our Comfort Zone provides a sanctuary of familiarity, while the Learning Zone beckons us to the edge of our abilities. However, beyond lies the Panic Zone, where trauma-induced fear impedes learning. Understanding that each person has unique boundaries for these zones is pivotal, especially for educators, parents, and caregivers. For those who have experienced trauma, choices may not be driven solely by preference but rather by the intricate wiring of the brain shaped by past experiences. The transition from Comfort Zone to Learning Zone requires delicacy, ensuring that risks taken do not push individuals into their Panic Zone. This nuanced understanding reframes perceived resistance as a coping mechanism, shedding light on the underlying struggle. As a parent, I witnessed firsthand the impact of trauma on choices when my son, after a small incident in a play pool, developed a fear of water. His tiny brain, overwhelmed by a momentary loss of control, left him freezing whenever near a pool or the seaside. Through play, fun, and gradual exposure, coupled with trauma techniques like EMDR, I supported him in overcoming this fear. The key was support and gradual exposure with a trauma protocol—forcing would never have worked. Educators and parents have such a wonderful opportunity to instill change, make an impact, and help a tree or flower bloom and grow by supporting individuals navigating their learning landscape. Frustration with seemingly repeated mistakes should be replaced with empathy and awareness that safety concerns, rooted in trauma, often overshadow motivation or laziness. Recognizing the unique zones of those we guide allows us to extend invitations rather than imposition, creating a space where choices can be made without fear of being pushed beyond their limits. In conclusion, embracing non-violent communication (NVC) principles becomes a vital tool for parents, educators, teachers, bosses, mentors, and individuals alike. Reflecting on our interactions with an NVC lens fosters understanding and empathy, promoting an environment that nurtures growth. Let us actively engage in self-reflection and extend the same compassion to those around us, cultivating spaces where choices can flourish and individuals can navigate their unique learning journeys. Best regards, Karl DeSouza Listening Ear Counseling and Consultancy Pre Ltd Safely Supporting Catalyzing Growth #TraumaInformed #LearningJourney #ComfortZone #NonViolentCommunication #SupportiveChoices #GrowthMindset #EmotionalWellness #Educators #Parents #Counseling #PersonalGrowth #EmpathyInAction #ReflectAndGrow #NurtureWithCare #ListeningEarBlog