Trauma-Informed Therapy recognizes the prevalence of trauma and the severe impact it can have on a person’s health and happiness. While some clients may immediately tell their therapist about their traumatic experiences, many are not comfortable sharing their experiences or may not be aware of the impact that it has had on them. A trauma-informed therapist approaches each client with the assumption that they have experienced some type of trauma and maintains a safe environment to empower the client to heal.
Current research shows that trauma has impacted more of our populations than we think and can have a devastating impact:
What is Trauma?
Trauma can come in many different forms and is often defined by “Big T Trauma” and “Little t Trauma.”
Big T Trauma: Experiencing or witnessing a frightening, dangerous, or violent event can overwhelm our body’s natural coping abilities. Exposure to death, injury, abuse, or sexual violence often causes trauma.
Little t trauma: A series of life events that accumulate in such a way that a person’s view of self or the world is negatively impacted. Examples include being bullied, having difficulty in important relationships, job stress or divorce.
Signs of Trauma
There is no “cookie cutter” response to trauma. It can affect people in vastly different ways. Below are some of the most common symptoms of trauma:
- Depression, sadness, or social isolation
- Feeling the need to be hyper-aware or alert in case of danger
- An exaggerated startle response, on edge
- Increased irritability, sudden anger attacks
- Feelings of shame, guilt, or intense worry
- A sense of numbness in life
- Nightmares or flashbacks that relive the terrible event
- Avoiding situations which may be reminders of event
- Difficulty functioning in daily life
- Substance abuse and dependence