Three Ways Emotional Trauma Changes the Brain

emotional trauma Dec 14, 2022

By: Katie Honeywell, LPCMH, NCC

How does the brain change with trauma? The word “trauma” is becoming more familiar to the general population. Many people recognize the psychological impact of being in physical danger or witnessing someone being in danger. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition defines trauma in relationship to a near-death experience of oneself or a loved one (2013). However, you will hear the echoes from trauma therapists, that the existence of trauma is less about the content of the experience and more about the process of the nervous system. In other words, if the nervous system is overwhelmed, then it is trauma.

Let’s highlight a few examples of events that at face value may not seem life-threatening, but can be traumatic. Humans see the world through an individualized lens based on what we have experienced and learned thus far in life. We can look at Maslow's Hierarchy of needs for some guidance on threats of...

Continue Reading...

What are the Top Causes of Emotional Trauma?

emotional trauma Sep 22, 2022

By Sarah Martin, LCPC, NCC

Trauma is everywhere, and with everything going on in the world today, we cannot ignore its presence. No one is immune to the impact of trauma. So what exactly do we mean when we say the word trauma? I often refer to Bessel van der Kolk’s definition of trauma as “an event that overwhelms the central nervous system, altering the way we process and recall memories.” What I like about this definition is that it opens the door to so many experiences, big and small. As an EMDR therapist, I have found that the small events or “little t” traumas can often be the most pervasive and deeply emotional. 

Emotional trauma can be caused by any event or experience that disrupts our sense of safety and security, often leaving us feeling helpless. The top causes of emotional trauma are verbal or emotional abuse, physical or sexual abuse, childhood neglect, spiritual or religious abuse, an accident or natural disaster, witnessing domestic...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.