Case History: Katia
Katia is 38, a mother and recently widowed.
38 year old Katia has been trying to deal with the tragic death of her husband, as well as trauma she experienced as a child.
The trauma Katia has experienced has affected her in the following ways: panic attacks; feeling low; having difficulties with family relationships; suffering from nightmares and flashbacks.
We worked with Katia for 30 individual sessions using a mix of Compassion Focused Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR).
Our initial assessment, during the first 5 sessions, focussed on understanding Katia’s difficulties and developing coping strategies for managing flashbacks and high levels of distress.
STAGE 1- SAFETY AND STABILISATION:
We supported Katia by helping her develop coping strategies to manage anxiety and deal with flashbacks. As part of this we looked at lifestyle factors to review how we could reduce stress and include positive/self-soothing activities. We also looked at parenting and other family relationships as part of developing strategies to improve relationships.
STAGE 2 –TRAUMA PROCESSING:
This stage used EMDR to process traumatic memories associated with Katia’s childhood and her relationship with her husband, as well as memories and images connected to his death.
STAGE 3 –MOVING FORWARD:
By concentrating on the type of life Katia wanted to live with her children, we put together a plan and implemented smaller steps to help Katia achieve her goal.
Our sessions ran flexibly over a 9 month period and took a break during school holidays so Katia could focus on the children. Katia’s mood improved as she felt less depressed. Her nightmares and flashbacks stopped and her confidence in parenting increased. She also found family relationships more manageable.