Divya C. Berry






Trauma Therapy in London

Divya C. Berry is a gestalt and trauma counsellor with offices in Central London. She has over a decade of experience in working with creative gestalt therapy techniques for trauma therapy.

What is trauma?

Trauma can be simply defined as the emotional response a person has to a blatantly terrible, or terrifying event. By its very nature, trauma is anything but simple; it is actually confusing and conflicting, to the point that it feels unfair to put it into a commonplace narrative. Rather, it needs to be given the space for exploration, processing, and treatment.

Therapies that focus on the body and breath, such as Gestalt, allow for the somatic experiencing of the trauma, as well as increasing awareness about its debilitating effects if it remains unprocessed.

The psychological effects of trauma

Because the intensity of trauma is difficult to manage in the moment, trauma often begins with denial and dissociation. Its short term implications start showing well before the long term, which are far more intense and damaging in nature.

The debilitating effect of trauma affects the psychological, emotional, physical, and cognitive spheres, and finally manifests in the behavioural and social spheres; these are the ones which are more obviously seen by others.

On that note, some of the most debilitating effects of trauma come from the lack of registration and acknowledgement by others; for instance, by the time the behavioural and social symptoms are seen and noticed, and feedback has been given to the traumatised person, they might already been suffering in the psychological, physical, and cognitive spheres for a long time already.

Survivors of trauma who return to functionality and can bear to tell their story will also bear a certain quality of resilience, and will employ coping techniques proven to work. Hence, it is not true that all trauma clients would be relegated to long term psychological distress, but rather that the alleviation of this distress is perhaps a job for the entire biome of the person, that specifically includes social support structures.

Discover whether therapy is right for you

Symptoms of trauma

Some of the specific symptoms of trauma include:

  • Emotional dysregulation, which brings difficulties with identifying and regulating emotions like anger, sadness, shame, and disgust
  • Extreme emotions, which includes being either overwhelmed or underwhelmed, ranging from feeling too much or too little, the latter also includes emotional numbing
  • Somatization of emotions, which means using or focusing on the body’s symptoms to express distress without any awareness of the connect
  • Hypervigilance, which is also known as hyperarousal, and alludes to the body being prepared at all times to receive a secondary trauma and carries the negative effects of being overprepared without cause
  • Cognitive errors and lack of judgement, which includes having a factually different version of events and transposing the same as a frame of reference to current and future events
  • Negative self image, which further leads to lowered self esteem and a negative bias for seeing the world

How does PTSD work?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a disorder at the extreme end of the trauma reaction; to be diagnosed with PTSD, a person needs to meet the psychological and physical diagnostic criterion associated with it.

Treatment for PTSD would require intervention from a psychiatrist and clinical psychologist, but the beginning of a PTSD diagnosis could well be identified in a psychotherapy and counselling setting.

man receiving trauma therapy london

From physical symptoms of somatization, to sleep disturbances, as well as flashbacks and triggers, to changes in the functioning of the adrenal and limbic symptoms, the range of PTSD symptoms is palpable.

The ‘stressor’ or traumatic event is over, but it is felt and experienced by the individual as if it is still present in the moment, or returned to psychologically time and again, making it difficult to be fully present or have positive emotions towards the future, which is also seen as riddled with fear and unsafety.

How can trauma therapy help?

Therapy for trauma involves, first and foremost, to ground the client in the here and now, hence reminding them that while the trauma was real, it is now not present in the current moment, and that they are safe.

Bringing feelings back to the body space and becoming aware of the somatic experiences that the person may be noticing are two other important tools that trauma therapy can teach.

Psychoeducation, which is explaining and educating the client about the psychology, theory, and workings of a process are also important; it demystifies the word ‘trauma’ and makes sense of the experience while giving it validation.

The first step to being seen is to be validated, and trauma therapy seeks to do just that. Getting the right treatment in a warm, empathic, confidential environment where there is no scope for shame or guilt to grow, is in itself evocative of the freedom that trauma recovery needs.

What to expect from a trauma counselling session

In a trauma therapy session in my London therapy room, you can expect a space that is designed for safety and meeting, with a person trained to help the client hold their traumatic experience, as gently as needed and with a certain skillset that is a prerequisite for this work; hence, there is safety within the therapy room.

Physically, there is an experience of calming down the nervous system, and then allowing breath to guide the body into a space of deeper relaxation.

The communication then involves mirroring feelings and reframing the traumatic events with safety, security, and empathy. Expect to feel validated, to feel heard, and, importantly, to feel supported and not alone on the journey to trauma recovery.

Over time, connections are made between the experienced symptoms and possible rooted causes, as well as new behaviours that may be burrowing themselves as patterns emerging from coping mechanisms. Awareness of all these factors at play will help the client move to a place of agency and see their own part in their healing narrative.

Trauma survivors experience guilt, shame, and fear to grapple with, so an awareness of their own agency in the process goes a long way to stabilize the internal sense of safety, which has been shifted.

Like any process, this work takes time and has to be handled with the highest form of consideration and care; deciding to bring your trauma to therapy is a decision to be taken with the desire for committing to the process, and once begun, the process becomes easier one day at a time.

Self-help: reading and resources on trauma & PTSD

Book your London trauma therapy session today

If you’re looking for trauma therapy in London, please get in touch via the link below with your details. I am also available on Instagram should you wish to speak in a more casual setting.

Divya C Berry

Divya C Berry

I am an MBPsS and MBACP accredited counsellor and psychologist. I hold degrees from LSE, University of London and City University London in Social Psychology and Health Psychology at the MA level.

I have five years of clinical practice in New Delhi at private and hospital settings, including a one year clinical residency and training at Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences, as well as having recently completed three years of training at the Gestalt Centre in London.