Trauma & PTSD
Trauma can come in many shapes and forms. We differentiate Big T and little t trauma. Big T trauma involves direct or vicarious threats or experience of serious physical injury, death or sexual violence. We most often associate these with severe accidents, physical assaults, and warzones. Big T trauma is most frequently associated with trauma-related disorders.
Little t trauma, on the other hand, involves aversive events that are highly distressing to the individual experiencing them. These can include direct abuse, assault, neglect, and loss, but also interactions or circumstances that instill a sense of fear, rejection, confusion or hurt. Little t traumas can be a single event or accumulative events over time, and can have major negative impact on mental health.
As little t trauma often remains unacknowledged or is dismissed as "not traumatic enough to be upset about", individuals may develop an additional sense of shame that they are still struggling with its effects many years or even decades later. Going unprocessed, little t trauma can interfere with our wellbeing, relationships, and sense of self.
Psychotherapy can help us to process both Big T and little t trauma, allowing us to fully integrate our experiences and release any unhelpful feelings, thoughts, and behaviours.