Trauma is a strong word and for most people trauma leads one to think of serious life experiences such as war, abuse, suicide and divorce. Many therapists call threat to life trauma’s “BIG T” Trauma and these can lead to the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Many neglect to consider “small t” trauma and the impact of these experiences on one’s personal life. Some examples of “small t” trauma include relationship break-ups, a parent not being there during a significant period in your life, drama that can happen during a holiday with family or a weekend with friends, chronic conflicts or impaired functioning at school or work are all forms of small-t trauma.

Common reactions to trauma:

  • Intrusive memories or triggers from earlier traumatic events
  • Sudden mood swings that tend to be over-reactive
  • Flooding of emotions such as anxiety, fear, panic, anger
  • Being hypervigilant–obsessively focused on past injuries, being a detective, feeling uptight and tense
  • Emotionally worn or depressed as a result of too many days of fear/anxiety
  • Disassociation–feeling outside yourself as if you’re observing what is happening around you rather than being a part of your life

Some lesser-known reactions to trauma:

  • Codependency is a reaction to trauma where one seeks to caretake others in an effort to self-heal. This leads to a neglect of your own self-care
  • Aches and pains in the body can be unresolved trauma stored in the body
  • Feeling disoriented and a in a chronic struggle to be productive
  • Distancing oneself from people and a tendency to avoid or isolate
  • Over-reactivity in email, phone messages, or passive/aggressive behavior
  • Numbing out or feeling in a daze.  Poor connection to self/others.
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of faith, low confidence in oneself or negative view of self

As you read through the above list, you may identify with some of these symptoms. I am surprised at how frequently people will get upset at themselves for experiencing these symptoms and continue trying to function in life while being seriously impacted by the varied trauma responses. Betrayal trauma is often described in the literature as complex trauma because the person that is supposed to be your safe place is the origin of some of the trauma.

Specialized trauma therapy can provide significant relief and offer a path toward healing and resiliency. Some likely things you will learn from trauma therapy include self-care, self-parenting, self-compassion. letting-go, meditation, mindfulness, affirmations, learning to create new meanings to your suffering and trauma.

Individual therapy offers personal and individualized care to create your own recovery plan. Since your individual therapist has walked alongside many others suffering he/she can offer a roadmap for recovery to lighten suffering and improve the overall healing process.

Group therapy offers things individual cannot– support from other women who share similar struggles. We call our partner’s group a “circle of sisters” as a special bond is developed in the sacred place of sharing and healing from trauma.