A common question therapists will ask during an intake is have you experienced any trauma. Some will say no but then reveal something that has been difficult for them to process and still effects their life. So, what exactly is trauma? Bessel van der Kolk once said that trauma is something horrific that the person wants to forget. Many will only think of abuse as trauma, but trauma can also be a difficult move, a car accident, loss of a loved one, a difficult birth, or a number of other things.


One way to know if something is traumatic to you is if it effect something in your life today. Does it affect the way you interact with others, the way you live your life, or how you feel about yourself? If you feel shame about it, this may also be an indicator of trauma.


Trauma means different things to different people. What may be traumatic to you may not be to another person, and vice versa. The best way to work through a trauma is through therapy. A good licensed therapist can help you work through the feelings, the thoughts and if necessary, the memories that the incident brings up. Don’t do it alone. There are those who can help you!


Steffani Wooley, MA. LPC-I