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The Trauma Experience: What is Big T Trauma?

Updated: Jan 20, 2023

Psychologist DR. ESSLIN TERRIGHENA explains what Big T Trauma is and how it impacts our wellbeing.

Big T Trauma results from traumatic experiences that we most commonly associate with the word trauma. These can include severe life-threatening accidents, conflict zones, natural disasters, sexual assault and violent attacks. The experience may have happened to us directly, we may have witnessed it happen to someone else, we may have learned about it happening to a loved one, or we may have been exposed to the details of the event in the aftermath (e.g. police, court & legal teams, emergency first-responders).

The essence of Big T Trauma is the life-threatening nature of the traumatic experience and the loss of control we have in that moment over the outcome and our own safety and wellbeing. Over the last decades, we have learned more and more about the devastating effects of exposure to such threats on our mental health and, in a wider sense, on our thoughts, behaviours, relationships, concentration, motivation, sleep, and mood.

Big T Trauma is most commonly associated with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Acute Stress Disorder, which is similar to PTSD but with a shorter duration of clinical symptoms ranging from 3 days to 1 months after the traumatic event.

To find out more about how trauma therapy can help you recover from past trauma, book a consultation with psychologist Dr. Esslin Terrighena, please contact (852) 2521 4668 or

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