Colleen Figg

The drama of trauma

2008-01-11 09:30

Colleen Figg

Whilst reading the recent media accounts of the Jo'burg Metro Police crackdown on minor traffic offenders, I was amused to read that one or two of those incarcerated had to go for "trauma counselling".

In picturing how they arrived at the conclusion that they needed this counselling for what amounted to breaking the law and being clapped in irons, I saw them pacing floors and growing ever more harried by the minute until finally they shrieked, "I need trauma counselling!"

Trauma counselling is the in-thing I see; reasons for attendance ranging from having engines fall off aircraft to having your neighbour's hound lunge at you through the fence as you venture off to buy your meat and two veg for supper of an afternoon.

People having their houses flooded also need trauma counselling as do folks whose geyser burst, killing their prize, very nervous, Chihuahua in a manner we'd be better off not exploring.

The fact that the Chihuahua clearly expected some kind of come-uppance his entire life (hence his state of perpetual, shivering terror) does not diminish the necessity for the entire family to queue outside the offices of the local trauma counsellor.

It is there that they presumably unburden themselves for an hour; pay the fees (who knows what these are?) and potter away until the next monumentally traumatic incident befalls them.

A matter of course

These trauma counsellors are apparently stashed all over the place by those in the know; they could be the people lounging around the airport café or down at the horse racing track. They are obviously highly adaptable, being able to offer counselling no matter the particular nature of the trauma.

In fact I can see a gap in the market for trauma counsellors on the golf courses in the summer months when the chances of being struck by lightning are extremely high. Once I heard a tale of a chap who was lining up to take a swing whilst exhorting his unseen friends in the background to "watch this one".

When he had played the ball with great accuracy he turned around to receive his due applause only to find his mates out cold on their backs some feet away, having been struck by lightning.

They recovered of course and this yarn was clearly embellished at some length at the 19th hole but just imagine if we'd had some trauma counsellors on hand, lurking behind other trees, ready to sweep them all off for a session to wipe the trauma from their minds.

The blokes may well never have had to resort to jar after jar in the pub, marriages might have been saved, and golf made even more lucrative for those in charge of golf course.

Who knows, in the end a symbiotic business relationship could have evolved which would mean eventually no one could undertake any sort of risky business without having a full time trauma counsellor on hand; in case you stubbed your toe on the way out of the clubhouse.

Send your comments to Colleen.

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