Therapy Toronto Psychotherapy Definitions
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- Trauma is an event or series of negative and harmful events that fundamentally alter the individual's sense of who they are.
People can become traumatized from catastrophic experiences, including repeated childhood abuse, childhood neglect, current or on-going adult abusive relationships, as well as physical illness or injury.
Since trauma is a form of experience that is often beyond the capacity to process normally, people become disconnected from their bodies as a protection or coping mechanism.
This disconnection results in increased dissociation, failures to self protect, difficulties in relationships, difficulties coping with work and money and in developing and maintaining self-esteem.
Trauma requires specialized treatment that is psycho-neuro-biologically oriented because the body and nervous system are affected in very particular ways.
Effective trauma treatment aims to be stabilizing and 'resourcing' all along the way. Symptoms tend to be automatic as they are rooted in the lower brain and therefore resistant to ordinary talk therapy methods. Building a sense of safety, grounding, presence, connection, orienting, alignment and centering are central to the trauma recovery process.
So much of the self is required to cope with the trauma symptoms over time that healthy development of the self can become distorted or neglected.
The effects of trauma on the developing self are interwoven with those of formative relationships.
It is therefore important to address both symptoms from the trauma itself and those which stem from post-trauma psychological developments.
Psychotherapy glossary by Toronto Therapy Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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