Is It Time for Trauma Therapy?

Are you wondering if you need some help dealing with the difficult events in your life?
You probably know some people who seem to get over hard experiences just fine, and
others who appear to struggle quite a bit. How is it for you?

Trauma comes in many forms. Maybe you lived with parents who struggled with
addictions or mental illness, or maybe you lost a parent when you were young. Perhaps
you were physically, sexually or emotionally abused as a child. Possibly your physical
or emotional needs were not met. You might have experienced many of these hardships
over long periods of time. As an adult you may have you’ve experienced physical,
sexual or emotional violence. Perhaps some other atrocity happened to you.

No matter what the trauma, these kinds of difficulties tend to shift your perceptions. It
can be hard to know what is healthy, and what is possible for you now. Maybe you’ve
even been told you just need to learn to live with certain feelings, thoughts and

How trauma affects you depend on many factors. These dynamics tend to make the
impact worse:

  1. The adverse experiences happened when you were very young (age 0-5).
  2. There was betrayal involved--- someone who was supposed to keep you safe
    and care for you hurt you.
  3. There were many different forms of maltreatment.
  4. The maltreatment lasted for long periods.
  5. If you told about the trauma, the people you told responded poorly.
  6. There was no safe adult in your life at the time.

The more of these factors were present, the more likely it is you’ve been carrying some
heavy burdens. In order to feel free from these, it is important to learn more about how
you think, feel, and behave today.

The following quiz is a good first step to exploring how the trauma you experienced has
affected you. As you probably understand, this is not a clinical assessment. It is a tool to
help you think about how life is for you, and where you might need some help.

I can’t tell who is safe.
Something terrible is about to happen.
I am weak-that’s why I’m having trouble.
It’s my fault the trauma happened.
I will never recover from feeling this way.
I feel alone and isolated.
I feel like I’m damaged goods, bad, or wrong.
I get irritated or frustrated easily.
I feel scared or anxious readily.
I feel spacey, unreal or like I’m floating.
I hide my true feelings, pretending I’m ok.
I avoid situations/people that remind me of the trauma.
I numb myself with food, media, alcohol or drugs.
If people get too close, I lash out or leave.
I lie, and sometimes I don’t even know why.

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