Where people have experienced trauma they can experience the symptoms that are associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) such as:

  • an ‘autopilot’ state
  • anxiety
  • hyper-vigilance
  • panic
  • re-experiencing
  • hypo-arousal
  • depression
  • numbness

These symptoms all have links to the autonomous nervous system, and for the purposes of this module share the characteristic of causing the person to be distracted from their self, or unable to sense what their needs are.

Practitioners may be aware that young people they are supporting are failing to notice when they are hungry, cold / hot, unwell, tired, stressed-out. This can be an opportunity to discuss their goals in terms of their general health and well-being, and potentially introducing the idea of deliberate ‘noticing’ of how they feel and what they need.

The ability to ‘notice’ may be impeded by substance use, and this needs to be taken into consideration when introducing these ideas to a young person. When trying out Mindfulness activities it may assist the young person to know that it may not be easy initially to be in the ‘moment’ if they have never done so before, but it is something that can be learned.

Where a young person has a passion such are art, music etc. they will already have had the experience of ‘being in the moment’, and this can be used as a basis to expand into other times in their lives.