Therapy for Trauma


Trauma Therapy


Types of Trauma

Trauma can be categorized into several types, each with unique characteristics and potential impacts on an individual’s life:

  • Acute Trauma: Results from a single, distressing event, such as an accident, natural disaster, or sudden loss. The shock of the event can cause immediate psychological and physiological reactions.

  • Chronic Trauma: Arises from repeated and prolonged exposure to highly stressful events, such as ongoing domestic violence, long-term illness, or chronic neglect. Chronic trauma often leads to more complex psychological issues due to its persistent nature.

  • Complex Trauma: Involves exposure to multiple traumatic events, often of an invasive, interpersonal nature. These can include childhood abuse, family violence, or other long-term harmful situations. Complex trauma typically affects various aspects of an individual’s development and functioning.

  • Secondary or Vicarious Trauma: Occurs when an individual is indirectly exposed to traumatic events through close contact with someone who has experienced trauma. This is common among healthcare professionals, first responders, and therapists who work with trauma survivors.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is a complex and multifaceted psychological, emotional, and behavioral response to an event or series of events that are deeply distressing or disturbing. These events overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope, evoke intense feelings of helplessness, diminish their sense of self, and disrupt their ability to experience a full range of emotions and life experiences., evoke intense feelings of helplessness, diminish their sense of self, and disrupt their ability to experience a full range of emotions and life experiences. Trauma can result from various types of incidents, ranging from interpersonal experiences to physical assault. On the other hand, It can be a single, isolated incident or a series of repeated experiences, and its impact can be immediate or long-lasting. The effects of trauma are diverse and can affect mental, emotional, physical, and behavioral health. Individuals may experience change


Woman in white shirt with low bun, finding therapy in serene setting.

Effects of Trauma

The effects of trauma are diverse and can manifest in various ways, impacting mental, emotional, physical, and behavioral health. Individuals may experience:

    • Mental Effects: Trauma can lead to intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety. Individuals might also experience difficulty concentrating, memory lapses, and persistent worry or fear.

    • Emotional Effects: Trauma often results in intense feelings of fear, anger, sadness, and guilt. Emotional numbness or detachment, mood swings, and feelings of hopelessness or despair are also common.

    • Physical Effects: The body’s response to trauma can include headaches, fatigue, muscle tension, and gastrointestinal problems. Changes in appetite and sleep patterns are also frequently reported.

    • Behavioral Effects: Individuals might engage in avoidance behaviors to steer clear of reminders of the trauma. This can lead to withdrawal from social activities, substance abuse, and self-destructive behaviors. Trauma can also result in hypervigilance, exaggerated startle responses, and difficulties in relationships.


Trauma & Stressor-Related Disorders

Trauma and stressor-related disorders are a group of mental health conditions that arise following exposure to a traumatic or stressful event. These disorders can profoundly impact an individual’s mental, emotional, physical, and behavioral well-being. The primary disorders I work with from this category include:


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

    • Characterized by persistent and intrusive memories of the traumatic event, avoidance of reminders of the trauma, negative changes in thoughts and mood, and heightened arousal and reactivity.

Acute Stress Disorder

  • Similar to PTSD, but the symptoms occur immediately after the trauma and last for a shorter duration, typically from three days to one month following the event.

Adjustment Disorders

    • Emotional or behavioral symptoms that arise within three months of experiencing a stressor. These symptoms are out of proportion to the severity or intensity of the stressor and significantly impair social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.


How Trauma Therapy Can Help

Trauma Therapy plays a crucial role in managing and overcoming trauma and stressor-related disorders. Different therapeutic approaches can address the complex effects of trauma, helping individuals regain control and improve their quality of life.

Catherine Alvarado Office
Catherine Alvarado Office Chair

Benefits of Trauma Therapy

Processing traumatic memories.
Reducing symptoms. 
Improving emotional regulation. 

Enhancing coping mechanisms. 


Building support networks.

Resources & Support for Trauma

If you feel this approach could benefit you, connect with me so we can discuss further and determine next steps. Additional self-help tools and reading about trauma and stress-related issues can be found on the Blogs