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Types of Trauma

Acute Trauma

A single event that caused distress or put you in danger, such as a car accident or natural disaster

Chronic Trauma

Repeated exposure to a dangerous or stressful event, such as bullying or domestic violence

Complex Trauma

Repeated Exposure to events that cause severe distress of fear such as sexual abuse, neglect, torture, or chronic abandonment

What is Trauma?

Trauma refers to an emotional or psychological response to an event or experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing. Traumatic events can be life-threatening (though does not have to be) or involve the threat of harm or injury, and they can have a significant impact on a person's mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Events and experiences that are deemed traumatic are subjective; what is traumatic for you may not be traumatic for someone else. An example of this is a race car driver may manage a car crash with ease and confidence and have no effects on functioning or emotional wellbeing, while a car crash for someone else can be a terrifying, traumatizing experience.

Traumatic events may include physical or sexual abuse, natural disasters, serious accidents, combat experiences, the sudden or expected loss of a loved one, or any other experience that is perceived as overwhelming, terrifying, or threatening to our nervous system. It is likely that the less supported, prepared, and safe we feel can increase how traumatizing an experience may be. Trauma can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, depression, flashbacks, nightmares, and other forms of psychological distress. It can also have long-term effects on a person's mental and physical health, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Most people will experience trauma in their lifetime whether it’s a car accident, abuse or neglect, the sudden death of a loved one, a violent criminal act, exposure to the violence of war, or a natural disaster. While many people recover from trauma over time with the love and support of family and friends and bounce back with resiliency, others may discover the effects of lasting trauma, which can cause a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, dysfunction, or posttraumatic stress far after the event has passed. You can still be impacted from trauma even if you do not meet the diagnostic criteria in the DSM for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Research has proven psychotherapy to be the most effective form of treatment for trauma, with The World Health Organization and Department of Veteran Affairs recommending EMDR as the highest treatment method for trauma and PTSD. 

The support, guidance, and assistance of a trauma-informed therapist are fundamental to healing from trauma. If you or someone you know is interested in receiving help from the impacts of trauma, contact us today for a free consultation.

In-person and remote options

Our private office is conveniently located around 10 minutes off of I-95 and a couple miles from the beach. Can’t make it into the office or want to save time on the commute?
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