What is Trauma?
Trauma is an extremely distressing experience that causes physical or emotional harm from which you cannot remove yourself. Trauma is subjective, meaning what matters most are the individual’s internal beliefs and their innate sensitivity to stress, not whether a family member, therapist or other outsider deems an experience traumatic.
What constitutes trauma?
- Relational trauma (emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse; living with a narcissistic/borderline partner/family member; loss of a loved one)
- Medical diagnoses or long-term illness
- Physical accidents (such as car accidents, falls, etc.)
- Natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, etc.)
- Violence (victim of a crime, rape, assault, robbery, or witnessing of violence)
- War (Combat or military experience)
What are the immediate effects of trauma?
- Shock, including numbed emotions, questioning of perceptions, and / or memory disturbances
- Denial (which helps reduce terror), helplessness, and fear of dying and / or being abandoned
- Confusion and disorientation
- Dissociation and / or feelings of unreality
- Unwanted thoughts: Traumatic memories may intrude on everyday living and in dreams, leaving a person feeling out of control
- Trouble sleeping
“Karol, you are a lifesaver. Thank you for saving me and helping me realize that life can be positive and amazing after enduring trauma. My life is so worth everything. I owe you so much. You are the reason I’m thriving in my life now. I can’t thank you enough for what you have done for me.” — L.W., client