In writing about trauma there can be a danger that the more extreme forms in the news can appear belittled. Trauma is not the same as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which is usually, but not always, the extreme of an individual’s experience. It came first to public awareness and conscientiousness perhaps when war veterans returned and to the lay person PTSD and trauma have often become identified as one and the same.
Trauma can be looked at on a spectrum of which PTSD is generally at the more extreme and of traumatic experience. However what is less written about is the general application and identification of adult psychological complications with symptoms of trauma.
Many people from teens, adulthood and later life have psychological complications arise from very early life we might consider the nature of trauma in the early infant life. What might not appear threatening to us may appear threatening to the baby and infant.
On being born everything is frightening to the baby until it has been comforted (protected) from the perceived threat and then it can calm down again. However, to the uncomforted infant the uncomforted threat can appear life threatening; the baby will come to believe that it is permanently threatened and it’s Cortisol system may be left in permanent alert. Their environment, people and place, will be perceived unconsciously as threatening. This is not the same as PTSD because that is closely linked with single incident events. However it is perfectly possible for accumulated experience and expectation to resemble trauma in the symptomatic response.
The role and aim of Counselling and Psychotherapy is to re-create the environment that was not initially provided and to bring reassurance to the doubting life. After all we are simply all a brain that is covered by the veneer of skin and looks upon which assumptions are heaped. Each one of us is the product of our experience and our assumed responses in the present based upon that experience. Counselling and Psychotherapy simply aim to bring a change in that experience and to challenge those assumptions