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Emotional Issues
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Emotional Stability after Crisis, Trauma or Abuse
Pulling Yourself Together Martyn Carruthers 2004

Online Help:  Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Do you use drugs as a substitute for change?
Alcohol, nicotine, anti-depressants and stimulants seem easier
than applying intelligence and analytical skills to your relationships.

Consequences of Crisis, Trauma & PTSD

Have you experienced or witnessed an event that involved injury, abuse or serious loss? Did you suffer a serious accident or a life-threatening disease? Do you since experience anxiety, or helplessness, or perhaps horror? Do you feel disturbed when something reminds you of that event? Do you avoid anything that reminds you of it?

Crisis, Trauma and Abuse - Our Definitions

In our work, crisis refers to an event in which a person has not yet re-gained emotional stability, although time may have passed.

In our work, trauma refers to an event that caused a person to fragment their personality, typically as a way to avoid overwhelming emotions that could not be rationalized. Following trauma, these split-off personalities (parts) are typically age-regressed (childish).

In our work, abuse refers to trauma that, in the opinion of the victim, was deliberately caused with an intent to create suffering.

Did you cut off or hide some parts of yourself? Do you feel depressed following a traumatic event or series of events? Do you feel detached or fragmented or dissociated? Do you have panic or anxiety attacks? Can you concentrate - or does your attention wander? Do you feel exhausted, yet you cannot sleep properly? Do you suffer from negative emotions or recurring nightmares? We can help you.

Military Intelligence: Between Iraq and a Hard Place

Mental health problems are part of warfare. A survey of 1000 US troops returning from the Middle East and Iraq in 2005 found that 30% had anxiety, depression, nightmares, irrational anger and an inability to concentrate. A 2004 survey of combat troops in Iraq combat zones showed that about 13% experienced significant mental-health problems. Stress-related problems are often worse for National Guard members who try to return to civilian life after military service.

Unresolved trauma, from a stressful event or series of events, can cause flashbacks and nightmares. You may feel emotionally numb or you may hurt people with your explosive emotions and mood swings. You may be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or depression.

We help people heal the emotional and relationship consequences of trauma. Do you want us to help you help yourself? We can show you effective ways to manage the consequences of abuse and trauma.

To accelerate their return to health, we often help people manage emotional conflicts and relationship issues that existed BEFORE their traumatic events.

Stress . Depression . Insomnia . Anger Management

Forgotten, Taboo & Repressed Memories

You may have symptoms associated with trauma, but not remember a trauma. You may have strong negative emotions but only remember minor incidents. You may have forgotten that you forgot some of your memories. Perhaps you were young or perhaps your trauma involved important people. We can help you safely remember traumatic events, and resolve abusive memories.

A common effect of trauma is identity loss, in which you may feel you have lost part of yourself, perhaps your sense of integrity or your sense of life. Identity loss seems to have four main varieties - we call them identification, identity conflict, lost identity and bonds. Such split off parts are often associated with emotions and beliefs that could not be rationalized nor assimilated during some crisis.

If you were abused, or if you participated in or witnessed something that you could not integrate, then you may have one or more "split off" parts. These split-off parts usually motivate childish emotions and behavior. We can help you pull yourself together.

Consequences of Stress, Trauma & Abuse

If you experienced stress, trauma or abuse, yet do not manage it, you are less likely to stay employed or married, and you are more likely to feel depressed, aggressive or violent. You may suffer lowered well-being and self-esteem - and you may only relate to people who suffered similar stress or trauma.

Common Symptoms following Stress, Trauma & Abuse

  • anxiety
  • hypochondria
  • apathy / lethargy
  • chronic pain
  • depression / guilt
  • digestive problems
  • dissociation
  • hopelessness
  • isolation
  • withdrawal
  • mood swings
  • panic attacks
  • phobias
  • promiscuity
  • risky relationships
  • self-harm
  • sleep disorders
  • substance abuse
  • volatile emotions
  • worthlessness

If you have split off part of yourself during stress, abuse or trauma, you may feel and act like a wounded child whenever something reminds you of those events. We can help you nurture and integrate parts of you that are stuck in compulsions and obsessions.

The consequences of abuse can include a sense of childish helplessness or an inability to make decisions or to act. Other consequences include shame, guilt, self-blame; a sense of being dirty or defiled; or a sense of being different to others (which may include feeling special or rejected).

Your relatives, especially children, may try to carry your burden. They may interpret a decreased sense of life and mood swings as victim or unable to love. Helpless parents may motivate their children to protect them as if the parents were hurt children. (We often see this sad behavior repeated across many generations).

Resolving Stress, Abuse & Trauma

Many helping professionals try to manage the symptoms of abuse and trauma with medication. But if the underlying identity loss is not restored, then the symptoms will return, often in other forms, perhaps precipitating long term depression or dysfunction.

I was a soldier during Croatia's war with Serbia. My unit was in a village attacked by the Yugoslav army. I saw people being butchered ... and I ran. I found a shell hole in a field and I stayed in it for three days. Part of me died in that hole. Since then I could not concentrate and I could feel shocked to tears by sudden loud noises. During our sessions, I found the younger me who I thought had died in that hole. Now I can concentrate better than I could for years. Croatia

If you have suffered severe stress, abuse or trauma, you may try to distract yourself with alcohol, drugs, sex or food. We can help you regain your values and live with integrity. Drugs and obsessions can evaporate as you rebuild your identity. Recover your self-respect - as you learn to live and love again.

Addictions . Sexual Issues . Review by a Medical Doctor

Going APE: Assimilate Problematic Experiences

The APES model (William B Stiles, 1990) describes easily recognizable stages of change as people assimilate problematic emotions, experiences or inner conflicts. We help people accelerate through these stages ...

Assimilating Problematic Experiences (APE)

0 Dissociated: A person is unaware of a problem; unpleasant thoughts and feelings are silent or rapidly silenced.
1 Avoidance: A person avoids thinking about an experience. Thoughts and feelings can be unpleasant but are scattered, diffuse, unfocused or unclear.
2 Emergence: A person cannot describe the problem clearly but is aware of emotional suffering or panic associated with an unpleasant experience.
3 Clarification: A person can recognize potential solutions and can manage their negative emotions and inner conflicts without panic.
4 Understanding: A person can describe the experience and conflicts with some unpleasant feelings and with some pleasant surprises.
5 Application: A person can set goals to solve problems.
The person becomes more optimistic in this context.
6 Resourceful: A person uses problematic experiences as life resources for solving problems. The person feels generally optimistic and satisfied.
7 Integration: A person generalizes solutions. The unpleasant experience can be used as a resource for resolving other situations and problems.

Do you want to recover lost or hidden parts of yourself?

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2004-2018 All rights reserved.

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
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For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


Soulwork systemic coaching in England, Wales & Scotland

Soulwork systemic coaching in Croatia & Serbia

Soulwork systemic coaching in Poland



Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email