"Trauma” is often a word that people have a hard time relating with. It is important to understand the difference between “big T” trauma, and “little t” trauma. “Big T” trauma refers to massive disruption in one’s life often accompanied by a high degree of unexpected, visceral elements such as a tragic car accident, sudden loss of a loved on, or physical/sexual abuse. These events shift the very fabric of the neurological make up of an individual, teaching them to expect negative, harmful things to happen. “Little t” trauma often refers to less severe, but significantly disruptive events in one’s life such as divorcing parents, an overly stern caregiver, or early childhood instability. Often times, individuals report a cumulative effect of small but significant traumatic events that create emotional and behavior issues in individuals. Both “little t” and “big T” trauma are extremely formative and need professional attention to avoid allowing either of these types of trauma to lead people in unhealthy direction.
It is my belief that beneath the vast majority of unwanted behavior lies past trauma. Trauma is simply something that has disrupted your life in the past in a manner that was unforeseen and/or unwanted. These experiences we endure in our past create a filter through which we see our lives and relationships. While it is important that we stop damaging behavior, it is equally important to understand what we trying to escape from. In order to treat the issue completely and stimulate long-term change, we must deal with the problem at the root level.