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Trauma can arise from a variety of life events which can be unexpected, unwanted, and have profound and enduring negative effects. Over my career I have worked with people who have experienced a wide spectrum of traumatic experiences, some of which are listed below, and this has contributed towards my firm belief that with commitment and appropriate therapeutic intervention people can move beyond the effects of trauma to live a life free of the negative echoes of their past. 

Adverse childhood events

Childhood is a crucial part of our lives, in which our understanding of the world and ourselves are shaped and formed. Frightening events, damaging relationships, or challenging experiences can all have a impact lasting well into adulthood. These in turn can affect relationships, functioning, and contribute to unhealthy coping mechanisms. 

Image by Kwang Javier

Relationship abuse

Physical, verbal, mental and sexual abuse can and does happen in relationships. For people who have these experiences this can have a profound impact on mental wellbeing, and have lasting repercussions on future relationships. 

Image by Hayley Maxwell

Workplace bullying

Many of us will change careers throughout our lives, usually with an ambition to find growth and personal challenge in new opportunities. However, when these careers come with challenging co-worker behaviour, the resulting impact on mental health impacts not just the work place, but the places outside of work we hold so important to us. 

Image by Evie Fjord

Physical injuries and illness

Serious injuries and illnesses can have a profound effect, maybe relating to changed abilities, function, self-image, or memories of the incident, diagnosis, treatment, or recovery period. Therapy can help process the memories, find ways to help manage the past, present, and future. 

Image by Sarah Dorweiler

Natural disasters

Exposure to nature can be uplifting, but sometimes it can be frightening when natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami's, floods or storms wreck havoc and lead to loss and displacement. This, and the unexpected and uncontrollable nature of these disasters, can lead to lasting psychological distress.

Image by Mitchell Luo

Pregnancy and childbirth

Hollywood. In which a couple fall pregnant, carry, and deliver a large and healthy baby in a mere puff, then rapture over their new family member. It can be so far from challenging conceptions, maternal ill health, traumatic births, postnatal distress and neonatal poor health. This reality can leave people reeling, struggling to connect, and facing traumatic memories that seem to overwhelm.  

Image by Pawel Czerwinski


A career in the armed services, or in private protection, can be fulfilling and lead to great personal growth. It can also lead to exposure to loss, trauma, and human suffering, an exposure than can leave an imprint even when these events are geographically distant and in the past. 

Image by Miriam Espacio

Sexual assault

Unwanted sexual contact can take many forms, but can have a significant impact on an individuals physical and psychological functioning, and is associated with a myriad of trauma symptoms even decades later. 

Image by Mockup Graphics

Front line work

People who work in the fire, police, ambulance, rescue or medical services are often described as strong and brave, but this does not immune them from the impact witnessing catastrophic events may have.  Vicarious trauma can arise from individual or cumulative events, leading to burnout, mental health challenges, and effects reaching far outside the sphere of work. 

Image by Annie Spratt


Emigration is a challenging process, which entails leaving a known geographical place, family, friends, support network, employment and pastimes to re-establish a life elsewhere. This journey may be voluntary or otherwise, but can be overwhelmingly stressful, leading to homesickness, and difficulties settling into the new place of living. 

Image by Agata Create
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