Trauma is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope, or integrate the emotions involved with that experience. Traumatic events can present in many ways:
- physical abuse,
- emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
- a serious accident
- the death of a loved one,
- witnessing or being involved in a robbery or hijacking
Often you either repress or suppress these emotions, in order to cope and “carry on as normal”. This inevitably leads to symptoms of anxiety, anger, sadness or PTSD, or you may have ongoing problems with sleep, or experience physical pain, poor self-esteem or problems in initiating or maintaining successful relationships.
It is vital that you seek help as soon as possible, in order to work through this trauma in a safe and compassionate environment.
Chronic or Terminal Illness
A diagnosis of chronic or terminal illness can sweep across your life, without warning, at any stage. You are left reeling in shock, frightened and overwhelmed. Family and friends are often just as scared and either offer platitudes like, “don’t worry, you’ll be fine” or otherwise find any number of reasons to avoid you. You now also feel alone and isolated, with no one to turn to.
It is vital that patients and their families and/or caregivers receive understanding and compassionate counselling/coaching in order to navigate through this journey.
- the rampant emotions – shock, anger, grief, overwhelm
- feelings of being isolated and alone
- explore and work through the deep-seated anxieties and fears
- day to day practicalities and coping strategies for living with illness
- find practical ways to make life as comfortable as possible for everyone concerned – patient, spouse, children, family
I have many years of experience, working with people in situations like this, both in my personal and my professional capacity. I’ve walked the path with family, friends and clients with chronic illness like fibromyalgia, lupus, diabetes, with disabilities, dementia and cancer.
Since 2016, I’ve been actively involved with CANSA West Rand, where I provide volunteer and private counselling/coaching for cancer patients and their families.
Loss is understood as a natural part of life, but we can still be overcome by shock and confusion, leading to prolonged periods of sadness or depression. Everyone reacts differently to death and has their own personal coping mechanisms for grief. Sadly, particularly in Western Culture, we are often taught that it’s macabre and not good to talk about death, or to openly show signs of grief, like crying. So, when we lose a loved one, or face death ourselves, there are sometimes no adequate support systems to help us through this incredibly emotional time.
When dealing with your grief, we use some of the following strategies in our coaching to help you come to terms with loss:
- Talk about the death, or impending death of your loved one
- Talk about and work at accepting your feelings.
- Learn coping mechanisms for the associated anxiety and stress
- Take care of yourself and your family
- Remember and celebrate the life of your loved one
It’s important to remember that whether you have a chronic or terminal illness, face death or the death or chronic illness of a loved one, you are not alone. There is help and we can work together to help you through this.