What is Trauma?
Trauma has become a buzzword in psychotherapy and counseling circles over the past decade. This is for good reason as the effects of trauma can lead to a host of difficulties in our lives—one of which is addiction. There may be some confusion about what is meant by the word trauma. Basically, to understand trauma we need to see that it is not the actual event in itself that is traumatic. Trauma is what is left over inside of us if we are unable to process an overwhelming experience. This impacts the way our nervous system operates (we can get stuck in fight, flight, or freeze modes) and can impact the way we think and feel about ourselves, others, and the world.

Trauma Comes in all Shapes and Sizes
Most of us see that trauma can stem from the more volatile experiences of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, tragic loss of life, sexual assault, betrayal, violence, car accidents, injuries, or natural disasters. But it also can come from seemingly small experiences in childhood. For example, maybe our parents had too much on their plate and we did not feel seen, understood, or appreciated. This is called developmental trauma, and its effects can be incredibly painful and debilitating. Unfortunately, often our history can be filled with both.

There is Hope
To heal from trauma requires safety and gentleness as you allow these painful experiences from the past to be integrated into the present. Furthermore, often we need the presence of a trained, compassionate professional who can guide us through this difficult inner terrain. If you are suffering from the effects of trauma, there is hope, and much more:

“I have come to the conclusion that human beings are born with an innate capacity to triumph over trauma. I believe not only that trauma is curable, but that the healing process can be a catalyst for profound awakening—a portal opening to emotional and genuine spiritual transformation.” – Peter Levine

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