WHAT IS TRAUMA ALL ABOUT?
What this Article intends to Achieve
Many of us might have heard of the word
“TRAUMA” before; and yet, I don’t think it’s
everyone who really understands what trauma is.
In view of that, today as I begin my series on Trauma, I would like to share with you “What
Trauma is All About”.
I trust today’s article/post will be of great help to you, your students /children, and even to
your loved ones. Don’t hesitate to use the knowledge you acquire by reading this article to
help someone. Enjoy the Reading…
WHAT IS TRAUMA ALL ABOUT?
• Basically, Trauma occurs when a person is OVERWHELMED by something
beyond their control.
• Ordinarily, Trauma is a normal human response to abnormal events.
• Trauma is the brain's response to an overwhelming and abnormal event that is
beyond its control.
• Trauma refers to an overwhelming, unanticipated danger or event that cannot
be mediated or processed by the individual.
• Trauma RESPONSE is actually the brain in Survival Mood.
This implies that Traumatic events are a direct threat to a person’s well-being.
TYPES OF TRAUMA
Quite apart from this general understanding of Trauma, we also have to understand that
there are two (2) major types of Trauma. They are:
1. Simple Trauma (Type 1)
2. Complex Trauma (Type 2)
Simple Trauma involves a time-limited, but awful or unpleasant event that usually
involves intense emotions and a period of suffering. Such events could involve:
• the death of a loved one
• being in a car accident
• parents separating or divorcing (especially in the case of children or young
I’m sure you can think of other undesirable events that you or your loved ones might have
experienced that can fit the definition of simple trauma. It happens to us all!
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) provides a very helpful definition of
Firstly, Complex Trauma involves early exposure to ongoing and repeated traumatic
experience that includes factors such as physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse,
significant neglect, and/or violence.
• This type of trauma is interpersonal. That means that the source of the child’s
trauma is a person or persons who should be there to care for, nurture and
protect them, but who are instead the source of their terror or harm.
Secondly, Complex Trauma involves the wide-ranging and long-term impact of this
traumatic experience. This is very important to keep in mind, especially for those of you
who work with children within school settings, children’s homes, children’s ministries,
youth ministries /groups, or in any other setting.
• This longer-term impact often becomes evident during the school years and
can make working with these children and adolescents quite complex and
• In extreme cases, this is a particular concern for students (children and
adolescents) who are receiving child protection services, and who have
experienced a number of unsuccessful out-of-home care placements in foster,
kinship, or residential care.
Having received this basic knowledge about what Trauma is all about, the question then
becomes: “How beneficial is this newly acquired knowledge to you, as a person, parent or
child worker/teacher?” or better still, “How should you use this knowledge and
understanding to your own benefit and the benefit of others, in general?”
These issues together with others, such as “Causes of Trauma”, and the “Impact of Trauma
on person and those around him/her” will all be thoroughly discussed in my subsequent
articles or posts.
If you or someone you know is struggling with Trauma (especially complex trauma) and
you feel you would need the help of a professional, then kindly call +233 551428486.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"Childhood trauma is not necessarily a prophecy of doom, because some children are
resilient or because later experiences help to restore mental health.”
Work for Psychologists
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