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What is a trauma?

I recently attended a 5-day trauma training to learn new techniques to work with individuals that have experienced trauma. When I’ve told friends about this training, a lot of them have said, “Oh, I’ve never had a trauma.” That made me start thinking, what is a trauma?

A trauma is simply a loss or incident that has affected your life. Often we think traumas are having a family member or friend murdered, experiencing a life-threatening car accident, or being assaulted. But there isn’t a “scale” to define something different from “bad event” to “trauma.” An event or experience is considered a trauma if it is emotionally painful or distressing. Lots of ordinary events can be a trauma: divorce, a death, a verbal altercation, loss of a friendship, moving, or a bullying experience.

When you think of it that way, haven’t we all experienced some traumas or losses in our lives?

Some of us can name exactly how the trauma has changed our behaviors, thoughts, and relationships. Others of us can simply name that it hurts. Whatever our ability to name its effects, trauma affects us all. It has shifted our relationships, behaviors, and patterns into some form of a coping behavior, whether it’s obvious or not.

With this new technique called Progressive Counting, you can work through the traumas and change the coping behaviors. It specifically focuses on addressing the intensity of the emotions associated with the experience and working on reducing the level of the emotion associated with the event. From there, we can restore our behaviors to what they were pre-trauma or loss. It’s about reclaiming the wholeness in our interactions with others as well as our relationships with others AND ourselves.

Everyone has some sort of story and hurt. Let’s explore together how to redeem that hurt and restore it back to wholeness together.