Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that are experienced as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening. Due to the extreme nature of these occurrences, there can be long lasting adverse effects on the individual's functioning and physical, social and emotional wellbeing. How the event is experienced may be linked to a range of factors including the developmental stage of the individual. For example, an individual may understand and experience events differently at age five, fifteen, or fifty.
The individual's experience of these events or circumstances helps to determine whether it is a traumatic event. A particular event may be experienced as traumatic for one individual and not for another. How the individual labels, assigns meaning to, and is disrupted physically and psychologically by an event will determine whether or not it is experienced as traumatic.
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The long-lasting adverse effects on an individual are the result of the individual's experience of the event or circumstance. These adverse effects may occur immediately or over time. In some situations, the individual may not recognize the connection between the effects and the events. Examples of adverse effects include an individual's inability to cope with the normal stresses and strains of daily living; to trust and benefit from relationships; and to manage emotions, memory, attention, thinking, and behavior. In addition to these more visible effects, there may be an altering of one's neuro-physiological make-up and ongoing health and wellbeing. Advances in neuroscience and an increased understanding of the interaction of neurobiological and environmental factors have documented the effects of such threatening events. Traumatic experiences may lead to a hyper-vigilant, constant state of arousal that eventually wears a person down, physically, mentally, and emotionally. In short, trauma is the sum of the event, the experience, and the effect.
The Camden Center has specially trained trauma therapists who work with patients to help neutralize and heal underlying psychological trauma. Our therapists have been trained in various trauma techniques including EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), and are attuned to creating a safe and supportive environment to assist each individual in processing their own unique experiences.