What is trauma?

Trauma comes from the Greek word for wound. Trauma – life’s wounding – is what happens when life overwhelms us, when an experience is too much for us.

Trauma can be the result of a situation that went on over time, for example, sexual abuse, bullying or neglectful parenting, or if someone denigrates us or diminishes us. It can also be a one-off ‘shock’ or incident trauma, such as an accident, assault, or sudden loss.

What might be symptoms of trauma? Trauma’s tentacles can find their way into surprising crevices within us.

Symptoms can include us feeling anxious, socially ill-at-ease, unsafe, not able to trust, jumpy or on edge. Or we may experience intrusive thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks, or perhaps we may try to avoid reminders of what happened so that our lives and choices become restricted.


How I can help

I have had a special interest in trauma for many years. One of my approaches is to offer psycho-education about trauma symptoms. Understanding trauma helps dissipate it.

We quite often don’t connect our current challenges with events that happened in the past. It is very common for their legacy to be lived in an ongoing way. When we are traumatised, we are changed inside. We either feel too much, or we feel too little or cannot trust our feelings. It is possible to learn how to trust our feelings again – and therapy can be a vehicle to help with this.