Research Paper on Average South African Traumatic Incidences

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1586 Words
Date:  2022-12-16


South African average citizens are faced with various traumatic incidents which mostly are as a result of family conflicts, racism and police brutality. On several incidences, such cases result in murder and jail sentence to the victims. A racism incident was reported recently whereby two white farmers were jailed for the murder of a black teenager. The two were sentenced to a jail term of 41 years when they were accused of killing the 15-year-old boy; who they claimed was stealing their sunflowers. More details to the incident indicate that the two farmers threw the boy off a moving track, broke his neck and died. Coligny residents started riots in the protest of that action; the court found the farmers guilty of murder. On a different case, another man shot a farmer when he thought that it was a bush pig. The killer hunter who was on a hunting plea with his wife said that he shot at where he heard movements, but when going to check, he found that he shot a farmer and not the bush pig. The farmer died instantly due to the injury on the head where he was shot.

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On a family conflict case, in Soweto, a man murdered his relative because she failed to give her money like she used to. The man named Gogo killed Zulugirl, his relative after a heated fight. A tenant who witnessed the incident said that she overheard noises of fighting people and decided to go and check on Zulu girl. Upon arriving, she found her lying on her bed, already dead. On police brutality, Zenakhaya, a man from Cape Town was mishandled by police after he requested to see the person who killed his son. His son was hit by a moving car and died on the spot.

Potential Effects of Witnessing Traumatic Incidences

People who have witnessed such traumatic incidences either personally or through people close to them tend to be affected mentally and their behaviors may change according to the damage the event caused to the emotions of a person. When people undergo a traumatic experience, their bodies' defense effects creates stress response tactics which may alter their physical and emotional behaviors. This defensive response causes the body to produce chemicals which may come with symptoms such as hiked blood pressure, intense heart rate, increased sweating and decreased stomach activities like loss of appetite. Those are the most common emergency effects on the body. However, after the event has occurred, people may experience denial and shock. Some other feelings like anger, regret, sadness, and guilt could come after some hours or days past the incident. On severe traumatic cases, people might experience depression and PTSD.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some people, whether involved directly or indirectly, whether injured or not can develop grow anxious years past the traumatic incident. Symptoms of PTSD include nightmares on the same events, avoiding visiting certain areas or doing a certain thing that leads to the traumas, sleep disorders, poor concentration, and drug abuse, among others. Another serious effect of traumatic events is depression. Depression is far different from feeling sad or moody. Depressed people experience an intense emotional feeling of emptiness, hopelessness, negativity, anxiety, and helplessness. These feelings do not go away even after a long time.

Theoretical Approaches Used to Understand Trauma

Various therapeutic approaches can be used to understand the traumatic incidences a person has undergone. The practitioner, according to his or her knowledge of training to understand the trauma. Different traumas will require different approaches due to their trauma effects levels on a person. One of the approaches is brief psychodynamic psychotherapy. In this approach, the emotional conflicts as a result of trauma as the main focus of the treatment, especially those that relate to early life and effects of the trauma. This approach is based on the belief that when a client tells the traumatic story to a calm, compassionate, empathetic and non-judgmental practitioner can raise his or her self-esteem, provide a strategy to more emotions management and added thinking strategies. During this process, the therapist helps the client go through the traumatic process and discover the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. During the treatment, the practitioner emphasizes concepts such as denial, anger, sadness, and guilt. By using this approach, most trauma victims are able to reenact the incident. Be reenacting, the client confirms that the event actually occurred, master the situation that was once a helpless one and finally reverses the outcome of the event, control its outcome and deal with the trauma in different and helpful ways.

The second and most commonly used approach is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This psychotherapy combines cognitive and behavior therapy. Behavior therapy is a learning-based approach whereby is given the power to weaken the connections between intense thoughts, situations, and the effects that come with the trauma. Cognitive therapy teaches a client how to particular ways of thinking could be the sources of various effects such as anger and anxiety. When the two; cognitive and behavior therapies are combined, they provide the client with an object to fight the trauma symptoms and resume normal functioning. According to some therapists, cognitive therapy is said to be the most suitable therapy because it delays or prevents the process of emotions by fighting with the already existing cognitive schemas. The cognitive system involves matching new information, old information in the model and revision of both types of information's to make them agree. Van der Kolk is the change between intense symptoms and inhibitions experienced by the victim of trauma. In an acute stage of trauma, the survivor tries to understand and accept the traumatic event by replaying the event occurrence from the active memory. Every replay of the trauma destresses the client, leading him to modulate the processing of the incident. As a result, the client starts to disengage with the traumatic event. Once the client experiences continuous inhibition and disengagement, he or she starts to withdraw slowly from the common effects of trauma such as nightmares and poor concentration.

Intervention Strategies and Counseling Approaches Used to Alleviate Trauma

Whether traumatic effects are more or less severe, there is a need for early intervention in order to prevent the development of the effects to become more serious. The most common interventional and counseling approach is therapeutic. Through therapy, especially cognitive-behavioral therapy, a trauma survivor is helped to manage the effects of the event such as anger and guilt. The therapist determines the symptoms of the client in order to decide the best techniques to use for intervention. PTSD can be managed by preventing its worsening using the following CBT techniques. First is learning the necessary skills to cope with anxiety like breathing exercises and giving feedback. Secondly, is the use of cognitive structures to eliminate negative thoughts. The client is taught anger management strategies. He or she is also prepared for a stress reaction. Ways to handle trauma symptoms in the future; the client is taught what to do to overcome the effects without the help of the specialist. The client is also advised against during abuse, relapse, and their effects. Relationship skills and how to relate to different people are taught to the client. On the same skills, the client is taught to be more social and open to other people regarding any problem they may experience. Thoughts distraction associated with trauma is discussed in full depth. The client is then trained how to relax, this may include meditation and exercising and guided imaginations. All the mentioned are the best psychological intervention strategies to alleviate the trauma. Other psychological inventions strategies include normalization and eye movement desensitization. Although psychological interventions are the most applied strategies, their other strategies to alleviate the trauma. Pharmacological interventions. In this strategy, drugs are administered to the client with severe conditions. These drugs are mainly administered to the clients to prevent PTSD. Some of the drugs include morphine, propranolol, glucocorticoids, and some serotine re-uptake inhibitors. Such drugs help in the withdrawal of effects and symptoms that may lead to worsening of the health of a trauma survivor.

Declaration Statement

Some of the words that might have been used severally include PTSD which is an abbreviation for a post-traumatic stress disorder. CBT is an abbreviation for cognitive-behavioral therapy.


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Research Paper on Average South African Traumatic Incidences. (2022, Dec 16). Retrieved from

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