What is Trauma? A term derived from the Greek for ‘wound’.
- Any serious injury to the body, often resulting from violence or an accident.
- An emotional wound leading to psychological injury.
- An event outside normal human experience.
- Any sudden and potentially life-threatening event.
- An event that can cause great distress in cognition, behaviour, emotion and body.
- An experience that causes us to develop incorrect beliefs about ourself, others and the world.
* Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. When that trauma leads to post-traumatic stress disorder, damage may involve physical changes inside the brain and to brain chemistry, which changes the person's response to future stress.
* A trauma memory is information about the event that has become locked in the nervous system almost in its original form. The images, thoughts, sounds, smells, emotions, physical sensations and beliefs that instantly developed about the self are all stored together in a neural network that takes on its own life. Grounded in the emotional brain and disconnected from our rational knowledge about the world, that network becomes a packet of unprocessed and dysfunctional information that can become reactivate at the slightest reminder of the original trauma.
* "Long-lasting responses to trauma result not simply from the experience of fear and helplessness but from how our bodies interpret those experiences." (Rachel Yehuda)
* Since the 1980s and ‘90s, newer treatment paradigms have developed that more directly impact the somatic and emotional legacy of trauma. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, developed by Pat Ogden, PhD, directly addresses the effects of trauma on the nervous system and body.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), developed in the 1980s by Francine Shapiro, is today one of the most popular and well-researched methods of trauma treatment. Like Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, EMDR does not focus on narrative recall but on reprocessing key elements of traumatic events, i.e, the legacy. (Janina Fisher)
NICE (National Institute for clinical Excellence) recommends the following treatment:
'All people with PTSD should be offered a course of trauma-focused pshychological treatment: trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR).'