Types of trauma

Broadly speaking, trauma is normally divided into two categories: shock trauma and developmental / relational trauma. Shock trauma comes from a singular event.  Developmental trauma occurs when an infant or child does not get the nurturing, support and safety that they need for their nervous system to develop properly. Developmental trauma often underlies unexplained cases of depression, anxiety, rigidity, relationship problems and failure to recover from a seemingly small life event.

Below are some examples of the types of things that can lead to trauma.

Shock trauma:

  • Rape
  • Car accident
  • Assault
  • Physical injury
  • Unexpected death of loved one
  • Natural disaster
  • War – multiple instances of shock trauma
  • Medical procedures
  • Birth trauma

Developmental trauma: This can be the result of bad parenting, but is not always the case. There may be some other stressful circumstances, such as family illness, poverty, living with war, parental grief or death in the family.

Shock and developmental trauma occurring together:

  • Child abuse
  • Untimely death of parent

The good news is that we are designed to overcome adversity. Our bodies are constantly helping us to get back to a state of health and wellbeing. Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the nervous system’s ability to adapt and change.

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