DIFFERENT KINDS OF TRAUMA
There are many different kinds of traumas one can experience. There are the one time traumas and the multiple or cumulative traumas. Single event traumas consist of stranger physical/sexual assault, natural disasters, large scale accidents, house fires, medical traumas, accidents, rape, sexual assault, terrorism. The multiple and cumulative traumas are partner battery and domestic violence, torture, war, prolonged emotional abuse, neglect, and first responder vicarious traumas.
Many of us experience a life changing trauma at one point or another and it can be difficult to face it alone. There are several factors that contribute to how a person experiences the traumatic event. The number one protective factor is often social support. Positive social support can make a huge impact on someone’s resiliency and ability to cope with traumatic experiences.
FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO A MORE COMPLICATED PROGNOSIS
- Is alone
- Receives blame
- If there was a breakdown of trust
- If the trauma involved another individual
- If the trauma was unpredictable and uncontrollable
- If there was physical injury and a high degree of loss and threat
- If the trauma was a sexual trauma
PTSD has received a lot of publicity through our veteran population and there seems to be some stigma a about it. There is the misconception that someone with post-traumatic stress symptoms is not resilient and incapable of handling the events. This is not true. Post traumatic symptoms are simply a physiological an emotional response to extreme circumstances to let us know that there is a threat and that something is out of balance.
COMMOM SYMPTOMS AFTER HAVING EXPERIENCED A TRAUMATIC EVENT
- Re-experiencing of the event through flashbacks, dreams or memories
- Avoidance, numbing and constriction
- Disbelief, disorientation, slowed reaction and accident proneness, change in perceptions
If you are struggling with any of these symptoms seeking the help from a psychologist can help your healing process and restore some balance in your life.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A THERAPIST
Seeking help after a traumatic event can be very difficult. One is already fearful and struggling with feelings of shame and vulnerability, therefore it is important to find someone you feel comfortable with.
- Look for a therapist you feel safe with, who you feel understands you.
- Look for a therapist who is well trained. There are many professionals that claim to have some experience with trauma yet few actually have specialty training.
- Look for a therapist you can have a trusting relationship with. The therapeutic relationship is one of the most important factors in the healing and growth process.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM THERAPY
Therapy is a very powerful tool that can change your life; however, it takes time and can be a slow and painful process. With time you will notice a decrease in your symptoms, feel more at ease, gain insight about your triggers and learn more about yourself.