Definition of Trauma
Trauma is a psychological response to a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. It overwhelms the individual’s ability to cope, that it leads to the feelings of helplessness, which diminish the sense of self and ability to process the emotions and experiences. The traumatic might be derived come from a single traumatic event or a series of traumatic events across time. For example, someone who was = molested in an elevator can be as traumatic as being a victim of bullying for several years.
There are several categories of trauma:
Bonding between children and their primary caregiver is essential, especially in the early years. But separation, abuse, neglect, lack of affection or divorce, disrupt the necessary bonding, the child develops a sense of being unwanted, which they often carry to their adulthood. The survivors of Attachment Trauma often find it difficult to trust people and are insecure in their relationship.
Attachment trauma is also known as Developmental Trauma.
Complex trauma is the result of being exposed to emotional, psychological and physical abuse, or profound neglect over some time. These events usually occur early in life, and it disrupts many aspects of the person’s early development and the formation of self-identity. It is an attachment trauma plus other traumatic encounters.
A person may develop Complex Trauma from a single event, such as sexual assault, or multiple occasions—for example, bullying and exposure to family violence.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
A person may develop PTSD after witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event, such as an accident, sexual assault or abuse. Symptoms of PTSD may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. A person who has PTSD may face temporary difficulty adjusting and coping with their daily lives for some time.
Response to Trauma
How trauma affects an individual depends on many factors, including the characteristics of the person, developmental processes, the social, cultural factors and the events itself.
Most trauma survivors are highly resilient and learn to develop appropriate coping strategies to deal with the aftermath and effects of trauma. Some of them show minimal distress and function well across significant life areas and developmental stages. However, the neural systems which stored the memories are triggered whenever they encountered something which they perceived as dangerous. The survivors then respond with a similar perception and thoughts that they experience during the traumatic events.
Mentally, the trauma survivors are aware that the traumatic event(s) is over, but yet they unable to feel safe. Processing the traumatic experience(s) with a trauma-informed professional counsellor will help to heal the traumatic memories, thus reconciling their thoughts and emotions, which then enable them to move forward unhindered by the past.
Trauma-Focused Therapy is also known as Trauma Counselling. It is an approach which recognises and emphasises understanding of how the traumatic experience(s) impact one’s mental, behavioural, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. Trauma-Focused Therapy recognised the connection between the traumatic experience and the emotional and behavioural responses. The focus is to assist you to have a better understanding of yourself and your coping mechanism, through the processing of emotions and memories tied to the traumatic experience(s). The process will include helping you to identify triggers linked to the traumatic experience(s) and to develop a strategy to deal with it. The objective of Trauma-Focused Therapy is to help you develop a better sense of yourself, which then lead to a healthier relationship with others.
There are many therapeutic approaches to trauma-focused Therapy. At Restoring Peace, we used integration of several therapeutic approaches, which we tailored to the individual need of our clients. We also aim to provide you with a strong and healthy therapeutic relationship where you will feel safe to process your traumatic experience(s).