Trauma describes an event that causes a person to feel severely threatened emotionally, psychologically, or physically or an event that causes harm in any of these ways. Not all people experience or react to trauma the same way, and different types of trauma may provoke significantly different reactions.
For some, effects may be lasting and can cause deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or post-traumatic stress (PTSD) long after the event has passed

Examples of traumatic events include:

  • Physical pain or injury (e.g., severe car accident)
  • Serious illness
  • War
  • Natural disasters
  • Terrorism
  • Witnessing a death
  • Rape &
  • Domestic abuse

Emotional & psychological symptoms:

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

Physical symptoms:

  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Being startled easily
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Edginess and agitation
  • Aches and pains
  • Muscle tension

Some common sources of trauma include:

  • Rape
  • Domestic violence
  • Natural disasters
  • Severe illness or injury
  • The death of a loved one
  • Witnessing an act of violence


  • Prolonged exposure (PE): This form of therapy involves exposing you to the source of your fear, until you are not afraid of it anymore.
  • Cognitive processing therapy (CPT): CPT involves challenging your perspective about why the traumatic event occurred and the thoughts and beliefs you’ve developed since. This form of therapy can be performed in an individual or group setting.
  • Trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy (TF-CBT): This form of therapy is for children and adolescents. It can help address inaccurate beliefs and unhealthy behavior patterns.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): This form of treatment involves using rhythmic left-right (bilateral) stimulation to help release emotions that have been blocked by trauma.

Talk to our Trauma-Informed Therapist