The many faces of trauma

The popular opinion allows people to see ‘trauma’ as being synonymous with distress or discomfort. The other day I stood in a queue to pay for a pair of shoes when I overheard a lady telling her friend that she was so “traumatized” because another shopper “snatched a bargain from under her nose”.

The haphazard way people are using terms like ‘trauma’ and ‘stress’ gives the impression that they know what they are talking about. Our own biases allow us to assume that we know what they are talking about and we have the answers.

The problem is that as listeners we stop listening with the intent to hear and understand. We stop paying attention to what they are trying to share and why they need to tell that part of their story.

Trauma essentially means that one is wounded and there are intense emotions involved. Amongst others, the wounding can be physical, emotional, and spiritual. The pain caused by a traumatic wound is always in the present and is not something you just get over.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, our wellbeing landscape was challenged like never before. No social interaction outside your home, but the Internet opened a portal to a new form of normality. Via the Internet, it is possible to reach people over great distances. We can facilitate training and communicate with people who need help from all over the world.

In our office, the conversation changed from the risks and pitfalls of working online, to what are the possibilities.

The 'problem' boss

Most employees spend more than 8 hours per day at work. They work with people they did not choose to have in their lives and every workplace is riddled with challenges and problems that need to be solved.

Where there are people there will be interpersonal dynamics. These dynamics may be good, bad or toxic. Many employees are blind to their contribution to stress, disharmony and negative environment at work. This statement includes the boss. The boss, or rather manager, might be unaware of his/her influence on you and your experience of the workplace.

You're exhausted. You're irritated. You're hopeless. You're discouraged.

The ‘problem’ employee

From time to time the employees in your organisation will require a private, one-on-one training event to address problematic workplace behaviour.

Problematic issues with senior staff members and family-relations working in the organisation are especially difficult to address in-house. However, neglecting corrective intervention exacerbates the impact of challenges over time. Consequently, the work performance of the individual and the team suffers.

Aquilla Wellness Solutions offers one-on-one training and coaching programs designed to intensely educate the people in your organisation who require concentrated coaching best delivered directly.

Problematic behaviour and workplace unwellness include:

A meaningful gift.

A friend of yours may go through hard times and experience trauma that touches your heart.  This is the time that you realise that we all need a little extra help.

You can show that you care by sponsoring a counselling session. This gesture is a gift that will be remembered for years to come.

A gift counselling session is a gift of hope and growth for someone who needs a nudge in the right direction, special support and counselling to find lasting solutions. Sessions can be facilitated online or in-person in Pretoria.

When you click on the ‘Enquire-link you will be directed to an email address. You will receive the relevant information to ensure that you can make an informed decision and the confidentiality of all parties are honoured.

We like this gift because it is a gentle, meaningful reminder that someone cares and that counselling is available in trying times. This is a kind way of addressing the needs of a friend and a loved one.

Returning to counselling after a break

Like any journey, your therapeutic journey may have starts and stops, highs and lows, departures and returns. Sometimes unexpected changes in life force you to pause the counselling and coaching for wellness. Perhaps you wanted a break to focus on another part of your life.

Once you are ready to return to counselling, you might wonder how you should go about it. What should you say to your counsellor? “I’m back” doesn’t feel like enough. The principles and care that brought you to Dr Barbara Louw in the first place are still effective.

Ultimately, your counsellor is not going to judge or reprimand you for taking a break.

How to get the most out of a counselling session?

You’ve taken the step to schedule your first appointment with Dr Barbara Louw. You may be nervous or worried you might not know what to do when you get to her office or connect online.

You have all these thoughts running through your head like, “Will she judge me? Will she believe me? Can she understand my dilemmas?  Will it help?” You consider postponing the appointment, but you’re in a crisis or trying to prevent more trauma. In the end, you decide you are going to keep the appointment.

Once you find a counsellor with whom you are compatible, you will want to get the most out of your investment in time and money. Here are some ideas on how to make the most of the counselling session.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on households and communities. The way businesses, training institutions and ministries operated do not apply anymore.

Together we have to be creative and resilient to make every day count. In the past, people engaged others in specific styles of communication, for example, marketing-centred or promotional interactions. At this stage, the need for our clients is encouragement and healing-centred engagements.

Much of the cosmetic fluff has weathered and personal interaction and kindness are more important than ever. Customer loyalty is won by the way they are treated during these challenging times.

Book your online or in-person appointment today.

All of a sudden many people find themselves in an unaccustomed and disconcerting workspace. Home!

Your new workspace can be filled with very busy “colleagues” and distractions. On the other side, you may be totally isolated and alone, which can be equally distracting. Working from home is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea.

The involuntary quarantine causes many mental health issues to the surface because we are social beings. This is even true of the self-proclaimed introverts because people need social interactions. We don’t realize the value of the interaction and exchanges between colleagues during the course of a normal working day.

The issues that can come to the foreground from being forced to work from home in the midst of a world-wide pandemic are:

  • The change in your mindset from “living” to being in survival mode. This shift in mindset is the clearest in people binge shopping for so-called essential goods, leaving shop shelves empty. The empty shop shelves aggravate feelings of anxiety and despair. People who cannot afford to stockpile are even more anxious because their situation turns out to be more hopeless.
  • Increase anxiety takes a toll for the worse on your health. Stress and continued anxiety erode your wellbeing and leave your general immune response wanting.
  • Working from home can decrease your job and financial security. In the process where decentralization wins ground, people’s fear of becoming redundant increases.

20/20 Vision On Wellness for Managers & Counsellors

Aquilla Wellness Solutions 01

Counsellors and managers are under a lot of work-related pressure at this time of the year. In this year our country experienced a lot of economic challenges that had a direct impact on the workplace and households.

If you are in a position where you had to retrench colleagues or had to deal with trauma, the cumulative effect of these challenges will affect the way you function. One of the most important ways workplace trials affect you is in the manner your brain functions.

There are, for example, three separate attention processes, allowing you to be alert, to orient and to have executive control. At work, you are required to be alert for long periods of time. You also need to select and prioritise useful sensory input, while resolving what to pay attention to. The executive control in your brain is especially important when the available information is in any form of conflict.

The more trauma you had to deal with, the more these three mental processes are under pressure. However, moving towards the end of the year and starting 2020 is the perfect time to go back to basics. Basics of self-care and management, because many things went wrong in the past year as a result of basic principles that were ignored.

Book your online or in-person appointment today.

Remember to take care of your own emotional injuries that come from memories of the traumatic experiences of this year.

Wellness Coaching Model Diagram

Going for counselling can be a daunting prospect, especially when you are sitting in a problem-saturated situation. My clients often start the conversation by stating that they “don’t even know where to start”.

The good news is that there is no correct or wrong place to start our conversation. The fact that you made your appointment is already a leap in the right direction. Coming to get the guidance, support or counselling takes courage and determination to become well.

Book your online or in-person appointment today.