Dr. Johan Cloete
Psychology & Neurofeedback Practitioner

Contact Me:

073 458 4079 (Bookings)

078 308 3070 (Whatsapp)

Trauma Therapy as way of Restoring your life


Co-creating a more preferred life with and for you

Working with trauma:
Exploring the meaning given to a traumatic event

A person will go through a terrible, painful experience and come out of it with no apparent severe after-effects… while another will have a similar experience with devastating after-effects. The view exists that people who do not present with negative symptoms after a traumatic event are just more skilled at hiding it. They reason that any severe trauma, e.g., rape, a violent assault, or armed robbery/hijacking, will mentally scar you for life. This idea turns out to be a myth.

Research has shown that it is not the actual event that creates or determines the outcome but the meaning that a person attaches to the event. People who have a severe reaction after trauma usually have common elements in the negative story they create about the traumatic event. A harmful meaning attached to a traumatic event may include one or more of the following:

  1. The event is interpreted as a severe violation of values and beliefs held by the person about the self and life in general, like self-worth, safety, security, etc.
  2. The resulting pain caused by the event may be experienced as overwhelming.
  3. The traumatic experience may be taken out of context, and the victim may be unable to access the ‘bigger picture.’
  4. When an event in the present triggers the memory of the traumatic experience in the past, the person may feel as if they are reliving the traumatic incident again.

In summary, The meaning a person attaches to a traumatic experience determines whether the experience is manageable or intolerable. The personal interpretation of the event determines the outcomes more than the event itself.

Reprocessing the experience of the trauma

If these harmful interpretations can be changed, the experience of the event changes, resulting in the victim reclaiming their life.

In my approach, I use several techniques to help trauma victims to reprocess the experience of the trauma.

  1. I will help you to retell the story in other and more constructive ways so that you do not have to experience the strong negative emotions that resulted from the event over and over again.
  2. I will assist you in rethinking the event from a place of learning and mastering the process of effectively managing the meaning you give to the event and the emotional outcomes of the event.
  3. I will help you regain confidence, consciously limit the effects of the event, and reclaim your life.

I also use TRE – a revolutionary new method for stress and trauma recovery developed by dr David Berceli. It is based upon a neurological viewpoint that tremoring is the organic way a human being (and animals) recovers from the aftermaths of tension and trauma. In most cultures, tremors are seen as a sign of shock, weakness, and vulnerability and are often calmed down or terminated by medication or other means, resulting in depriving ourselves of recovering from tension and trauma in an organic way. TRE is designed to activate the human body’s tremor mechanism, which leads to a safe and organic recovery from the aftermath of tension and trauma.