Trauma

What describes trauma? Trauma can be described simply as situations or set of circumstances, actions or a series of events that cause physical, emotional, mental harm or life-threatening experiences to an individual, which results in lasting adverse affects on one’s functioning as well as physical, social, emotional or well-being.

We are discovering trauma is affecting more individuals in various ways than had been understood prior to the last 10 years. There are numerous trauma-related conditions. It was once believed that military soldiers only experienced trauma, but we have identified many areas of a persons life can contribute to trauma. 

Some examples:

  • Physical abuse
  • Professional burnout
  • Mental abuse
  • Acute Stress
  • Post traumatic stress
  • Domestic Violence
  • Death of someone close
  • Serious Illness
  • Sexual assault

Trauma associated events or situations can be hard for an individual to recognise. Trauma terms for better understanding the types of trauma.

The first one is known as Acute Trauma, which is generally connected to a single overwhelming event. Then we have Complex Trauma also know as developmental or relationship trauma, that results from extended exposure to traumatising events. Complex Trauma is when an individual experiences multiple, chronic or prolonged, developmentally unfavourable traumatic events which is often of an interpersonal nature and set on early in life. Trauma is arguably an experience or effect from either complex interpersonal trauma or acute trauma.

Some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder after exposed to either acute or complex trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder is the trigger that causes the person to re-experience the feeling of terror or helplessness. Generally it leads the person in avoiding any cues that might be reminders of the trauma.

How do we work with Trauma in people? Trauma is individual based and considerate of the person and age of the person.  The fundamental pillars needed in attempting to heal the trauma are through 1. Safety, 2. Connections, and 3. Managing Emotions. This is incredibly importance when working with children or adolescents. Using trauma-informed approach (DIA), Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), Cognitive processing therapy (CPT), Exposure therapy (ET), Eye movement Desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), Narrative Therapy (NT), Skills training in affective and interpersonal regulation (STAIR) and Stress inoculation training (SIT).

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