Trauma can be thought of as an event that causes distress and falls out of range of the usual human experience. Traumas can be human-made or from natural causes.
Big “T” and little “t” traumas
Traumas are often categorized as big “T” or little “t” traumas.
A big “T” trauma can be a car crash, natural disaster or abuse perpetrated on us.
Little “t” traumas can be things such as losing a pet or a relationship ending.
The body can become stuck in ‘fight or flight’ mode long after the trauma occurred, which can affect us not only mentally and emotionally, but physically.
Having trauma does not necessarily mean one will develop PTSD, but it is a possibility. We now know that if we can flee and get home safely, we are much less likely to develop PTSD, if at all. It’s when we feel trapped and can’t get away, or the trauma is repeated that PTSD is more likely to occur.
I Was Afraid
To be truthful, I never wanted to work with trauma or PTSD. It seemed scary to me, and I had no training in it, so I focused on depression and anxiety.
What happened was that more than a few people who came in with depression and anxiety had those symptoms because of some trauma. I also then encountered dissociation – amazing ways humans have of coping with severe traumas by having other parts hold the memory so they can continue with life. I knew then that I wanted and needed to learn more to help those that came to me.
Working with the body is key
Trauma is stored in the body. We cannot rationalize our way out of feeling fear. If we could, we’d all have done that already. The body becomes somewhat stuck in a time when the event occurred, and we continue to react in the same way as we did when it happened.
By working with the body in a gentle and non-violent way, we can give the body a different option it wasn’t able to do at the time. We can give ourselves the “act of triumph” that was needed. I have done extensive training on how to do this and continue to work on the techniques that allow this kind of change.
Take that first step today to resolve trauma or PTSD which your body is carrying.