Trauma…only warzones and PTSD or mostly everybody?

There seems to be a trend of trying to bring the feared “trauma” word into our kitchen tables.

Are we exaggerating? Or have we all experienced some trauma in our life and call it otherwise?

Let’s see. In the therapeutic field one way of defining trauma is “the impact of an event that at the time of occurrence overwhelms the resources of the person experiencing it”.

Basically, what that means is that when you experience something at a time that you are weary, unsupported or it is “the last straw” in a string of events, just to name a few possibilities, you may have been traumatised by that particular event.

And what may be some of the signs that are present in somebody affected by trauma?

Interrupted or unrestful sleep; intestinal disturbances; anxiety; catastrophising and projection of negative outcomes; intrusive images of disasters; autoimmune ailments; skin problems; muscular tension; muscular pain; headaches; and the list continues to include alterations of thought, perception and physical ailments of all sorts.

Now, this is not to say that every single ailment indicated above is only a consequence of trauma.

On the other hand, many “unfounded” and undiagnosed symptoms have resolved successfully through trauma resolution techniques.

Makes you think.

So, how can therapy support and help people who have experienced trauma?

Therapy is built around the creation of a safe environment and a supportive relationship, which is one of the key points lacking in traumatic experiences, the environment felt unsafe and there was no sense of support.

From there, a myriad of techniques and approaches are available to support the expression, release and integration of the traumatic experience in order to achieve a sense of empowerment.

These will involve the thinking, feeling, sensing aspects of the person, which have been thrown out of kilter by the traumatic experience.

In any instance, the full engagement in therapy of the person affected by trauma is essential to rekindle the connection with personal resources and resilience.

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