Trauma Counselling and Trauma Debriefing
Trauma counselling is counselling that is specifically focused on a trauma experienced. It differs from debriefing in that counselling on an event occurs days, months or possibly even years after a trauma has occurred.
In South Africa it is commonplace for individuals to suffer physical, emotional and psychological trauma. Trauma debriefing is is suitable for anyone that has experienced a situation where they have directly or indirectly experienced a situation where their life or the life of another has been in danger or or their life has been threatened. Traumatic situations can be both natural (flooding, earthquake etc.) or manmade (armed robbery, high-jacking, rape, abuse, car accident etc.)
Trauma debriefing can assist people in coping with what has happened and have a reasonable knowledge of what the effects of the trauma are and what to expect in the future in dealing with the trauma.
Trauma debriefing takes place between 12 and 72 hours after an incident. It is important to do the debriefing at the right time as, before 12 hours one is still in a state of shock and is unable to process anything that has happened and after 72 hours it is more “Trauma Counselling” as many of the effects have already started to take place.
Trauma debriefing usually allows the individual or group to offload the experience they have gone through and allows the counsellor to educate the individual or group in what they may experience as a result of the trauma. It helps them to know that their behaviour is normal after an abnormal experience.
It is common to require trauma debriefing after witnessing a trauma or a trauma happening to someone close to the individual and the same process takes place in the individual.
Often when a trauma happens the person only starts to remember fragmented bits of what has happened. A debriefing helps the person to organize their thoughts on what has happened and when this is arranged into a more logical order of the event, it is easier for them to process. Research shows that trauma debriefing can help the individual with trauma counselling as it helps with organizing the fragmented thoughts they may have of the experience and allows them to process what has happened.
Debriefing is effective when, through educating the person as to what they can expect and the average time the effects last, prevention of PTSD through successful “Trauma Counselling” is possible.
Trauma debriefing can be done on an individual basis or in a group with those that have perhaps experienced a similar trauma or traumatic situation together.
Trauma counselling is counselling that is specifically focused on a trauma experienced. It differs from debriefing in that counselling on an event occurs days, months or possibly even years after a trauma has occurred. The counselling would usually focus on issues and difficulties that the person is experiencing because of the trauma they have experienced. Sessions are designed on an individual basis and will differ from person to person depending on the severity and type of problems that are occurring.