What Is Trauma?

Trauma is when we have encountered an out of control, frightening experience that has disconnected us from all sense of resourcefulness or safety or coping or love”.
(Tara Brach, 2011)

Trauma is a part of the human experience. However, each person experiences traumatic events differently. A traumatic event is an incident that causes; physical, emotional, or psychological harm. The person experiencing the distressing event may feel threatened, anxious, frightened, or debilitated as a result.

Trauma is complicated. It can be obvious, with a clear cause, and symptoms that seem to make sense. Or, trauma can be buried beneath depression, anxiety, and anger, without any recognizable origin. A traumatic event can involve a single experience, or enduring repeated events, that completely overwhelm the individual’s ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved in that experience. The causal event may have occurred a week ago, or years previously at some point in the past. Regardless the truth remains, the effects of unresolved trauma are prevalent.

There are 3 main types of trauma

  • Acute trauma results from a single incident such as – a car accident.
  • Chronic trauma is repeated and prolonged such as – domestic violence or abuse.
  • Complex trauma is exposure to varied and multiple types of trauma or traumatic events.

What is CPTSD?

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD, sometimes abbreviated to c-PTSD or CPTSD) is a condition where you experience some symptoms of PTSD along with some additional symptoms, such as: difficulty controlling your emotions.

Trauma is the cause and at the heart of considerable human suffering and many of the problems that challenges our society today.

Many people affected by trauma may not yet realize all that has happened to them and how they have been affected. Others may want help but may not feel quite ready to ask for it.

At Rituals for Recovery our Trauma Recovery Coaches work in the aftermath of trauma; addressing the feelings associated by living with the truth of trauma. These feelings of; anxiety, depression, grief, shame, fear, rejection, abandonment, anger, hopelessness, sadness, and disappointment are all by-products of the abuse. Recovery does not necessarily mean complete freedom from post-traumatic affects.

Even though you might continue to struggle with the effects of trauma, you have survived and that took courage, strength, and resourcefulness.

Recovery is an individual experience and will be and look different for everyone. In general, “Recovery is the ability to live in the present without being overwhelmed by the thoughts and feelings of the past.”

Trauma stems from a normal response to overwhelming stress. We are innately equipped with `survival’ mechanisms which only become pathological if traumatic experience remains unresolved after the precipitating event/s have passed.

Central to the experience of trauma is helplessness, isolation and the loss of power and control. Understanding and adequately responding to what happens when people are exposed to overwhelming experiences is a basic requirement of a healthy society.