Trauma is a person’s emotional response to a distressing experience, and it can impact people of all ages and backgrounds. It is beyond the person’s control and undermines our sense of safety. Trauma activates the amygdala, a structure in the brain responsible for detecting threats. It responds by sending out an alarm to multiple body systems to prepare for defense (Fight, Flight, Freeze or Collapse).

Few people can go through life without encountering varying degrees of trauma, from a car accident to the sudden loss of a loved one, physical violence, emotional and sexual abuse, racial and cultural oppression. For many, these experiences can create long term distress and maladaptive responses including anxiety, depression, anger, tearfulness, avoidance, inability to experience happiness, or live life fully, hypervigilance, alcoholism, drug abuse and countless other destructive manifestations of the negative aftermath of the traumatic experience.

Trauma need not be all consuming. Psychotherapy can help unpack unresolved emotions. Trauma-informed therapy is a holistic way to address and heal the impact of traumatic events and the maladaptive responses used to survive harmful events. 

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