What I didn’t know about the link between trauma and anxiety

I remember my first paying client so well. I’d just finished all my accreditation. It was May 2016.  

She came to me for anxiety.

I was probably fairly naive in thinking I could help anyone with anxiety and brimming with that new practitioner eagerness to get out there and do the work.  

I’d been using EFT myself for anxiety and thought it was straightforward.

She was getting married that summer.

Every time something stressful came up, her anxiety would start taking over and she’d start vomiting.

She’d had it before interviews, holidays, house moves…. everything.

And she didn’t want to be vomiting on her wedding day.  

I didn’t know then how much anxiety is related to trauma.

That training came later on as I’ve developed my skills and knowledge.

I probably gave her coping skills to help her and certainly she wasn’t feeling so sick by the time she left, but I definitely didn’t help ‘clear’ the anxiety. 

Now here’s what I’d ask her (a quick summary as it’s longer than this is practice):
– Tune into that part of you
– What is it you’re scared is going to happen
– Can you ask that part of you to show you any times that that happened before 

And here is where the gold would have been.  This is where we would have got the link between the trauma and anxiety.

Because what she was presenting with was trauma – hypervigilance, anxiety, fear and an overactive nervous system. 

She might not have realised that.  And I didn’t realise that at the time.  I was a new practitioner after all! 

It might not have been obvious because so many of our past memories don’t seem traumatic as no one almost died.  

But when you’re 5 and someone hasn’t regulated you at a time of stress or shouted at you or shamed you, that stress is stored as trauma.

It was the missing link in my work.  

Yes I could ease anxiety at that time, but I couldn’t stop it.

I can now so much of the time by working with that link between trauma and anxiety and breaking it.

And I want you to know about it too because once you start to understand this connection you’re so much more able to understand why the anxious response is a TRAUMA response and you can work internally.   

Much love, Tricia xxx


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