Trauma includes traumatic events that happen to us in the present, as well as early life events that can have lasting effects into adulthood. Trauma in early life, even if it may seem relatively minor, can have a significant impact on a person's adult life. Early life trauma might be caused by abuse, neglect, or other things we would all recognize as traumatic (often called "big 'T' trauma") or it might look like growing up with a parent who yelled a lot or a caregiver who was extremely critical (often referred to as "little 't' trauma"). Trauma can cause a wide range of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, panic, overwhelm, flashbacks, or chronic pain. These symptoms are signals from our body and nervous system telling us that something is out of balance.
Sometimes the cause of trauma is obvious: we lost someone important to us, we served in the military, or we experienced a traumatic birth. Other times there does not seem to be a direct cause for our suffering, or the original cause is not obvious. Many times, these emotions show up to highlight a wound that needs healing, and often, these wounds are anchored in our past. A therapist can help you find out how to get some relief in the present and also guide you in healing the underlying wounds so that you can live in the present and fully enjoy your life.
There are many approaches to working with trauma. Click here to learn more about two of our favorite approaches: EMDR and parts work.