What is Trauma?
Trauma is something that is self-defined by each person. What one person experiences as trauma may not be considered by another person to be trauma. In the mental health world traumas are often referred to as little ‘t’ and big ‘T’ traumas. The differences between the little and big t traumas are whether or not the trauma reaches the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) threshold.
A list of small of little 't' trauma examples are provided below:
- Experiencing shame and guilt from a caregiver as a child
- Being a target of bullying in school
- Belittling by a coworker or partner
Below is a list of experiences that may cause PTSD related symptoms:
- Near death car accident
- Witnessing repeated traumatic material as part of a job
- Being an observer to a traumatic event
- Learning of a violent death of a loved one
Are There Protective Factors for Trauma?
Yes, there are! Below is a short list of protective factors that may help alleviate the impact of trauma in a person’s life:
- The connection and involvement of one’s support network is a significant factor in recovery from trauma.
- A person’s internal coping ability – typically forged from past life events
- Early childhood events that have developed a sturdy sense of self
Are There Different Forms of Trauma?
As noted above, trauma is trauma, and it is self-defined from person-to-person. Someone can experience a single event that is traumatic or, more, prolonged periods of trauma from either combat or from childhood for example. The situations noted in the previous sentence can also be a mixture of little t or big T traumas over time. At times, exposure to prolonged trauma can create Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and associated symptoms.
How Does Trauma Impact a Person?
Every person is different in how trauma will manifest in their lives. Some people are better at control than others for example. Trauma can create challenges with:
- Developing healthy attachment patterns
- Challenges with mood swings/lability
- Negative thoughts about self, others, and the world
- General feeling of not being safe in the world or in your own home
- Avoidance, escape, and control patterns to protect against re-traumatization
- Addiction problems
Can Someone Heal From Trauma?
In short, yes, most people can heal from past traumatic events. Healing and recovery will be dependent on two significant factors:
- A person’s commitment to therapy, healing, and recovery
- The therapist’s clinical training and expertise
How Do I Begin to Heal From Past Trauma?
Trauma is a large hurdle to overcome. Finding a local trauma therapist can be very beneficial to your healing and recovery process. Furthermore, looking for an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist near you can be a beneficial step in your recovery process. Call 720-295-6703 or complete our contact form to schedule a free 20-minute consultation to ensure we are a good fit to work together.