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What is Trauma? Healing Through Connection

What is trauma?

Trauma is not just the event, but also the physical and psychological effects it has on an individual. It can be life-changing and impact health and well-being in various ways. The body and mind can experience unpredictable and complex symptoms that greatly affect one’s quality of life.

The seven Hallmarks of Trauma according to Gabor Maté (2021)

-Trauma is not what happens to you; it is what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you
-Trauma results in a disconnection from yourself, your value, your feelings, your body, other people and the world
-Trauma shapes your view of the world, causing a constriction
-You override your gut feelings, which help you to survive, due to trauma
-Trauma makes it difficult to be in the present moment
– Trauma changes your nervous system 
-Trauma programs your relationships

Developmental Trauma

Developmental trauma” refers to the frequent harm that children can suffer at a young age. Such mistreatment can result from negligence, physical and/or sexual abuse by caregivers, or exposure to violence or abandonment. Developmental trauma can have an impact on a child’s thinking, emotions, and physical state, causing difficulties in emotional control, behavior, or physical reactions. Left untreated, unresolved developmental trauma can lead to problems in adulthood.

Intergenerational Trauma

Intergenerational trauma and historical trauma are important concepts. “Pain moves through families until someone is ready to feel it.” The idea behind intergenerational trauma is that the impact of trauma doesn’t always fade away and can affect individuals and families for multiple generations. Such individuals not only experience their own trauma, but may also belong to families whose parents or caregivers have suffered from unacknowledged or untreated trauma.

Addictions a result of Trauma

Gabor Maté, a renowned expert on addiction and childhood trauma, highlights the profound impact of early experiences on addiction development. He emphasizes that addiction often arises from individuals’ attempts to cope with unhealed childhood wounds. Understanding these adaptive mechanisms is crucial to addressing addiction effectively and promoting holistic healing.

Religious Trauma, Spiritual Abuse

Religious trauma, as described by Steven Hassan and Marlene Winell refers to the negative psychological effects and lasting harm caused by involvement in manipulative or coercive religious groups or systems. Hassan, a renowned expert on cults and mind control, identifies specific tactics employed by such groups, including thought reform techniques, social isolation, and the suppression of critical thinking. Religious trauma can result in cognitive dissonance, emotional distress, loss of personal autonomy, and difficulties in establishing a healthy sense of self. Understanding and addressing religious trauma is crucial for individuals to regain control over their lives and pursue their own beliefs and values. In many ways it is similar to C-PTSD.

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(C-PTSD) and Post traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD)

PTSD typically arises from a single traumatic incident, such as an accident or an assault. On the other hand, C-PTSD often develops from repeated or prolonged trauma, such as childhood abuse, repeated violence, or emotional neglect. CPTSD can profoundly shape an individual’s core beliefs about themselves, others, and the world. This can result in negative self-perceptions, a diminished sense of safety, and a pervasive feeling of being fundamentally flawed or damaged.

We provide Compassionate Inquiry, Trauma-Informed Art Therapy, Qigong and Mindfulness integrated therapy in English, Spanish, Swedish and Brazilian Portuguese. On Zoom as well as in person in Florianopolis, Brazil and Stockholm, Sweden.