A trauma is a psychologically distressing event that is outside the range of usual human experience. Trauma often involves a sense of intense fear, terror, and helplessness”. (Dr Bruce Perry)
Trauma is an attack, threat or confrontation resulting in damage to the emotional, physical or psychological self. The traumatised person can be either the victim or the observer of an incident which leaves the person feeling helpless; reckless; disconnected; powerless and in constant fear of repeated threat. This can affect children and adults alike. Children who experience complex trauma, because they are still in the process of development both in body and in brain function are vulnerable to the long term impact of these experiences.
The traumatic incident can have a profound effect on the mind; emotions and body. The body can experience sensations through its senses which can immediately trigger the memory of the trauma and move the individual into the need to survive, triggering the need for flight, fight, and freeze. This can have a profound impact on the individual’s ability to function on a daily basis, impacting relationships, work, learning and even the completion of simple everyday tasks.
When an individual experiences complex or repeated trauma there is a need to process this on all levels, emotionally; psychologically and bodily in order for them to fully heal.
Trauma therapy offers the individual the opportunity to process the experience so that the brain can make sense of all aspects of the events thus reducing the automatic responses which trigger the survival response of fight; flight; freeze and allow the individual to lead a life free of the repeated experience of the traumatic event (trauma re-enactment).