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Simply put, trauma is an emotional response resulting from a distressing event. Whether trauma results from a single experience, or enduring repeated events, it can overwhelm a person’s ability to cope with the emotions that emerge. Trauma doesn’t discriminate, affecting people of any age, gender, cultural background or social standing. And although trauma is a relatively common form of psychological injury, that doesn’t diminish its effects, which can be pervasive and debilitating. There’s no objective way to know which life events can result in psychological trauma, but circumstances typically involve a loss of control, abuse of power, a threat to your physical safety or the experience of terror alongside a sense of helplessness. A few common causes include adverse childhood experiences, sexual abuse or assault, physical abuse, bullying, serious illnesses, accidents and separation from, or loss of, a primary caregiver. And unfortunately, some people experience ongoing or multiple traumas.


Psychological trauma resulting from distressing events can leave people struggling with feelings of helplessness and an inability to feel the full, healthy range of human emotions. Despite the many causes of trauma, some basic symptoms are fairly easy to discern. Physical symptoms of trauma can include:

  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Edginess and agitation
  • Muscle tension
  • Aches and pains

Emotional and psychological symptoms of trauma can include:

  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating
  • Anger, irritability, mood swings
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Feeling sad, hopeless, disconnected or numb


In the days and weeks after a traumatic event, people often experience strong emotional reactions. But everyone processes a traumatic event differently. For some, these feelings begin to subside and, with the support of family and friends, they recover. For others though, unresolved trauma can result in the range of symptoms above. Left untreated, this can lead to serious and persistent mental health conditions, such as addictions, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and somatization. As it wreaks havoc with your emotional life, in both the short-and long-term, trauma can also result in lingering physical maladies, an inability to trust, hypervigilance and a distorted sense of self. Unresolved trauma will often go on to create difficulties in romantic relationships, at school or work and in other social situations.


Trauma can create a ripple effect extending into the emotional, physical and social aspects of your day-to-day life. But even if it happened many years ago, there are steps you can take to overcome the pain, learn to trust and reconnect with people, and regain your sense of emotional balance. To ensure the best possible health outcomes, it’s of utmost importance to address trauma in a safe and sensitive way.

Your Therapy practices trauma-informed care, prioritizing safety, transparency, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration and empowerment. That means we create a space where you feel culturally, emotionally and physically safe; explain exactly what we are doing and why we are doing it, and ask for your consent to go forward at every step. This will build well-being, trust and the capacity to manage the powerful and complex feelings that emerge, so you can understand your trauma experience in a new and healthier way. As a trauma survivor, you can learn to regain control of your own narrative, and transform it into a story of resilience, pointing the way forward, toward a healthier life.


The emotional work of recovering from trauma is not easy, and takes time, but the outlook for recovery is good. With assistance, the right treatment and a solid understanding of the healing process, trauma can be overcome. In fact, many who undertake the process of resolving and recovering from trauma are able to transcend its effects, and emerge as strong as ever—or even stronger.

Take The First Step Of Your Therapy

Trauma creates change that you don't choose. Healing creates change you do choose

– Michelle Rosenthal

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