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FAQs about trauma

What is trauma?

My definition of trauma is being forced into an extremely uncomfortable situation without your consent.  It can occur as one event or multiple times over a period of time.  It can occur at any time in one's life whether in childhood, as a teenager or in adulthood.  Trauma can be either physical, sexual or emotional.

How common is trauma?

70% of adults in the United States have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives.

How can I tell if I or my partner has been affected by trauma?

There are three general ways one can be affected by trauma: thoughts, feelings or bodily sensations.  Here are some specific examples:  

  • Resistance to positive change

  • Fear of success or failure

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Difficulty managing emotions

  • Difficulty asking for help

  • Low self-esteem

  • Trying to avoid certain thoughts, feelings or conversations

  • Feeling disconnected from others or oneself

Is it okay if I get individual therapy for trauma while seeing you with my partner for couples therapy?

Absolutely! Individual therapy is a great investment in yourself. There may be issues that are better to work on in individual therapy than with your partner.

How can trauma from the past affect my relationship with my partner?

Past trauma can show up in different ways in a relationship.  A few examples of this:

  • Inability to resolve conflict

  • Withdrawal or avoidance

  • Lack of emotional intimacy

  • Difficulty with sex

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