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Post traumatic stress counselling

Post traumatic stress can be very stressful as the world you know has changed; your feelings of safety have been shaken up and left you feeling exposed and vulnerable.

What is post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in some people who have experienced a shocking and scary event that has threatened your safety or has left you feeling helpless. It is natural to feel afraid after an overwhelming life experience, especially if the event is seen as unpredictable or uncontrollable. Almost everyone who has gone through this will experience a range of different emotions such as anger, sadness, depression, guilt, shame, anxiousness, fear or feeling overwhelmed. Most people recover from these intense emotions but if you find that you are still experiencing feelings of stress and feel afraid when you are not in any danger, you may need Post Traumatic Stress Counselling.

How does PTSD affect people?

PTSD can be very stressful as the world you know has changed; your feelings of safety have been shaken up and left you feeling exposed and vulnerable. You may find yourself reacting to situations you previously would have sailed through. You may feel anxious all the time, worrying about things you never worried about previously. You may also feel nervous to be alone or feel as if something bad is about to happen to you. Some of the typical signs to look out for are having flashbacks of what happened and feeling like you are re-living your ordeal over and over. You may become caught up in imagining a worse outcome than what happened, raising your feelings of anxiety. It is common for PTSD sufferers to avoid reminders like places and people who bring back memories of the experience. The most common emotions range from anger, sadness, depression, mistrust, guilt, shame, hopelessness, anxiousness and fear. Regular nightmares or frightening thoughts may occur. Your physical well-being is also affected as your body is in shock and trying to process what has happened to you, so aches and pains or illnesses may become relevant. A sense of wanting to escape from what’s happened to you may cause you to feel withdrawn or look to alcohol or substances as a coping mechanism. These reactions to PTSD may continue long into the future, until you receive the right support through post traumatic counselling

What you can do to help yourself?

There are a couple of ways to support yourself through this time until you feel ready to reach out and be guided through the PTSD process.

Deep breathing helps to regulate your nervous system, leaving you feeling calmer, less anxious and more in control. The more deeply you can train yourself to breathe, for longer periods of time, the better response you will have.

Be present by focusing on your ‘here and now’. Don’t allow your mind to get lost in the thoughts of what happened or what could have happened. Remind yourself that in this moment you are safe, going about your daily routine, doing what you do every day. Emphasise the fact that you are safe as many times as you need to reassure yourself.

Avoid alcohol or drugs when you are working through difficult emotions as this will only amplify what you are experiencing later on. Using alcohol or substances as an escape is a clear sign that you need help.

Avoid isolating yourself as tempting as this may be. Go out and surround yourself with people who love and care for you. Allow yourself to feel safe around those you know well and are comfortable to be vulnerable around.

What you can do to help others suffering with PTSD?

One of the most difficult things is to watch someone you know and love going through post-traumatic stress and feeling completely helpless or lost as to what to do. Reading about PTSD and becoming familiar with what to expect will help to put you at ease around the person suffering with it. Remember that everyone goes through their own process on their own time, so don’t pressure them into talking about what happened. They will speak to you when and if they are ready to. If your loved one chooses you to speak to about what happened, do your best to be as neutral as possible to allow them the opportunity to emotionally unload, without your own emotions getting lost in this. Let them take the lead on this and be available to create a safe and non-reactive space for them to begin sharing in. If you are able to, do your best to preempt possible triggers for example an anniversary date, certain places or people who may stir up the unresolved emotions. Whatever their reaction to what is going on, remember not to take it personally. So often, our loved ones are so caught up in what they are going through they have little insight to how this may be affecting you. Most importantly, manage your own stress throughout this process, because the pressure for you to remain constant, strong and unwavering can be immense. Make sure you are taking care of yourself so that you may be the best version of support your loved one needs to get through this difficult time.

How I can help?

Post-traumatic stress disorder can persist for years without the right help. Having lived through post-traumatic stress I am not only able to guide you in recapturing a sense of control over your life, but I am able to understand and support you in processing your experience and what it has meant to you. By teaching you to cope with stressors and enhance your strengths from surviving trauma, I will assist you in recreating yourself by thinking more positively about who you are, about others and the world you live in so that you may feel safe and secure again. I will help you to understand yourself and your responses to possible future triggers and move you beyond secondary issues that are often related to traumatic experiences, such as depression or other mental health issues. With my support in post traumatic counselling, you will heal from your ordeal, with my first-hand experience you will overcome your limitations and beyond.

 

HOW I CAN HELP?

Post-traumatic stress disorder can persist for years without the right help. Having lived through post-traumatic stress I am not only able to guide you in recapturing a sense of control over your life, but I am able to understand and support you in processing your experience and what it has meant to you. By teaching you to cope with stressors and enhance your strengths from surviving trauma, I will assist you in recreating yourself by thinking more positively about who you are, about others and the world you live in so that you may feel safe and secure again. I will help you to understand(ing) yourself and your responses to possible future triggers and move you beyond secondary issues that are often related to traumatic experiences, such as depression or other mental health issues. With my support in post-traumatic counselling, you will heal from your ordeal, with my first-hand experience you will overcome your limitations and beyond.

How I work

My approach

Driven by passion, my working style is open, honest and highly intuitive. If you choose to work with me, I expect you to put the bs story you’ve been telling yourself about why you can’t move on and why you can’t be a success, aside. I am results driven, that means that I am invested in YOU and your recovery. I take my commitments seriously. That being said, I, better than anyone, know that we each move at our own pace, so equally I celebrate individuality and tailor the pace and progress of your success to achieve your goals. Where there is gentleness, there is also strength, my working style embodies both. I dig into your depths and help you build a rock-solid foundation of self-belief and confidence. Whatever is out there, is yours for the taking. I guide you in making that your reality. I see you, all of you, even when you are unable to.

My clients

My passion is helping others and I embrace all people from all walks of life, irrespective of age, race, gender or stature. I work with people young and old, male and female, gay or straight…. Trauma, life, challenges, hurt, pain doesn’t discriminate in my books. So, whoever you are, wherever you are from, when we take each step together, we move forward together and we celebrate your victories together. Building our relationship on trust and nurturing you in a safe and protected space can only have a positive impact on your life.

My training

I have many certifications and accreditation, however, I believe my greatest ‘training’ comes directly from my personal experience. Having been exposed to trauma from a young age through to adulthood, experience has given me the capacity to not only empathise with my clients, but honestly sympathise with where they are in life, because I have been there too. My experience has given me compassion and a deep rooted understanding, my B.A. Honors in Social Science along with many other certifications I have worked hard for, have given me the tools to be able to further my true passion…. helping others with their challenges…because you don’t have to be alone

Becoming my client

If you feel ready to make a change or improve parts of yourself, we are a great fit. If you are unsure about committing to change and feel halfheartedly about growing, I would be doing you a disservice by agreeing to work with you. Time and energy are valuable commodities, invest wisely in yourself and who you work with. You deserve nothing less.

On our journey together you'll

TRANSFORM every area of your life into vibrant success.

REVIVE and awaken yourself from the haze of shock and the aftermath of your ordeal.

ACCEPT what has happened to you and take strength from your situation.

UNDERSTAND who you now are because life has changed you.

METHODICALLY move beyond the limitations that you’ve been creating as a way to survive.

ACHIEVE the best version of you by rising above the superficiality of your experience, owning the depth of your wisdom and the freedom that is yours to have.

Book a free introductory call and learn how I can help you transform your life.

On our journey together you'll

TRANSFORM every area of your life into vibrant success. REVIVE and awaken yourself from the haze of shock and the aftermath of your ordeal. ACCEPT what has happened to you and take strength from your situation. UNDERSTAND who you now are because life has changed you. METHODICALLY move beyond the limitations that you’ve been creating as a way to survive. ACHIEVE the best version of you by rising above the superficiality of your experience, owning the depth of your wisdom and the freedom that is yours to have.

Book a free introductory call and learn how I can help you transform your life.

What my clients say

"If you feel that your long-held beliefs and deep rooted problems are holding you back in life, then I can recommend this course to you. Over two days, the counseling and encouragement triggered a catalyst for me to begin a journey of self-discovery, all within a safe environment with others who felt the same way."

Sarah (Guernsey, Channel Islands) 2005

"I feel that the structure of the course would challenge anybody and their boundaries on many levels. I cried a lot during the weekend but maybe that was meant to happen. I didn’t feel sad after we finished the sessions each day, drained yes, but not sad. Optimistic in fact, because you’ve been given some tools to help you cope with stress and problems in your life from now on in. I learned something important too that I deserved to be happy. A lot of the time I don’t think that I do … The Louise Hay workshop has left a lasting imprint on my heart and I will never forget the women I met or what we all learnt about ourselves and from each other with the help of our tutors. Going back to what I said at the start, I am so glad I took part and I would highly recommend this course to anyone."

Alne (Lusty Beg, Belfast)

"I saw her (chiropractor) this morning and she said it was the first time in four years that she has been able to adjust my lower back its thanks to the wonderful work you helped me with last weekend. All my emotions were ‘stored’ down there and I was holding on to them for dear life! Now that I’ve been able to let go emotionally, my body has been able to let go as well. I am so much better off since meeting you... The work we did has had a wonderful effect on my life! I can now truly see each new day as a gift, without needing to look backwards or forwards. Thanks to the lessons you taught me, my life has a whole new meaning and it is so liberating to be able to leave the old behind… Keep up the wonderful work that you are doing!"

Joanne (Johannesburg) 2008

"GETTING ALONG MARVELLOUSLY!!! I am really astounded (and believe me when I say this – it takes a lot to move me). I am more positive and getting more so. My outlook has changed completely (more positive thoughts and so forth). The reason for all this is: On Tueday last week got phoned from a hotel group that previously did not approve my application – went for interview last Friday (awaiting positive results) and on Wednesday last week my current employer offered me a higher position and remuneration and so forth (I have wanted this for the last 6 months or more – new job and higher income). Things, (big and small) seem to really fall in place.”

Lucas (Johannesburg) 2008 

"I attended the ‘love yourself, heal your life’ course this weekend with Gaelene and I can’t even express how awesome it was. I felt as if the content was ‘written’ especially for me and it is going to push me over that last little hurdle after which, I plan to never ever look back on this dark time. I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the life changing course this weekend. I cannot believe how much it has helped me and how much it feels like I have been lifted out of a very deep, dark hole. I am aware that this was not the only thing that has helped me (and gratefully so, because then I would doubt the longevity thereof) but it certainly was pivotal and I will forever be grateful for your time. I would highly recommend this to anyone. Thank you so much."

Theresa (Johannesburg) 2008

"This workshop has truly transformed my life! While I had read books on the subject the workshop really brought these ideas and principles to life, bettering my understanding of them and their relevance to my life. The exercises in the workshop really helped me see the negative beliefs I had – some I was aware of, and some that I had no idea existed until the workshop. The exercises were facilitated in such a way that I always felt safe, feeling free to discover my beliefs and patterns, but secure in the sense that a loving and experienced facilitator was guiding my journey. The take home materials and CD’s have really allowed me to apply the techniques to my everyday life. The most important element of the workshop for me was that I felt I could truly be and explore who I really am. The environment that Gaelene creates is a warm, loving space where unconditional acceptance and safety are a given. I highly recommend this workshop to everyone, whether you are looking to make changed, or just merely want to improve your quality and understanding of life."

Lara (Johannesburg) 2007

"On a more profound note, the past week and a bit have been extremely challenging in so far as life throwing everything at me to test the newly leant belief system. It has been harrowing to say the least, but I have survived with a lot more positivity becoming my reality. I also wake up singing ‘I love myself…’ and have been doing so since last week."

Liz ( Johannesburg) 2008

"Thank you for all the support and encouragement you give so generously! We are blessed to have you!"

Karin (Johannesburg) 2008

"Just want to say thank you for the course this weekend I thought I was not going to learn something new for a youngster like you but at the end I really got emotional and that’s what I needed just to see every time is a new journey and you (ma) go with the flow with what comes up… Thank you!"

Rene (Johannesburg) 2008

"Gaelene gave me the tools and wisdom to find my truth, and to finally like the person that I am. She has a quiet, gentle strength which I came to rely on quite a bit in my journey of self discovery."

Coralee (Johannesburg) 2016

"I indeed entered a new chapter after the wonderful course I did with you three years ago. I am engaged to be married, to my ex husband. Its been a wonderful two years back together (after 5 years of divorce). Our daughters are so happy and still ‘congratulate’ us on a daily basis. Who would have thought?"

Charinne (Johannesburg) 2016

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I’m Gaelene, a qualified social worker with practices in JHB and Durban, I specialise in creating a safe space for people who feel lost and paralysed by their experiences. A space where people feel accepted and supported through their journey whilst reclaiming the greatest version of themselves.

Watch my videos to learn more.

We’re not so different, you and me, join my soul tribe and become more of who you were meant to be.