is the direct, personal experience of harm (or threatened harm) to self and others. Most traumas are not “single-event” trauma – but patterns of recurrent trauma. COMPLEX TRAUMA – refers to both the exposure to multiple, chronic or recurrent traumatic experiences and the wide-ranging and long term impact of these experiences.
Developmental Trauma – which results in delayed or abnormal development of Brain Networks. Causes:
o Inadequate attentive care, touch, and co-regulation during child development
o Disruption in Parent-Child Attachment
o Child Maltreatment – Interpersonal Victimization (physical, emotional, sexual abuse)
o Chaotic Home Environment; Family Violence
o Trauma passed unintentionally from one generation to the next; many traits that were thought to be “genetic” because they were found to “run in families” are now recognized to the result of Intergenerational Trauma
o A person’s life experience of daily trauma – such as daily discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity.
o Intersectional Discrimination is the complex cumulative way that one person or group may experience multiple types of discrimination (such as race+gender+class)
o Emotional damage from inequity enforced through public policies, institutional practices, cultural images, and behaviors which are built into the structure of the culture, and which reinforce social inequity.
Interpersonal Victimization – physical, emotional, sexual abuse
Single-event Trauma (such as a robbery, an explosion, car accident, death in the family)
o Emotional distress related to transitioning to a new culture (usually as part of immigration)
Secondary Trauma (experiencing the trauma that others have experienced)
And the impact of Trauma depends on:
o the person’s stage of development, and
o the frequency, severity, and duration of the Trauma, and
o the person’s resources to buffer the trauma (emotional, physical, and most importantly relational resources)