Kaely Ferrara

Individual, Couple, Family and Group Psychotherapy

What is Trauma?

Trauma is the manifestation of psychological and physical distress that occurs after an individual experiences a highly distressing event, often one which threatens a person’s basic sense of safety or security, and that results in feelings of extreme vulnerability.

Have I Experienced Trauma? 

Since trauma affects individuals differently, what may be felt as traumatic to one person may not be equally felt by another. This “Spectrum of Trauma” can range from more commonly known traumas, such as abuse, to less commonly recognized forms of trauma, such as a chaotic job change, an unplanned pregnancy, or ambiguous loss. Below are some examples of events that can result in trauma symptoms. 

Abortion

Terminating a pregnancy can result in a mixture of emotions and at times psychological distress. Therapy can be a safe space to process the complex feelings that result from terminating a pregnancy

Abuse

Whether as an adult or as a child, experiencing abuse (physical, emotional/verbal, or sexual abuse) can shatter ones basic sense of safety and lead to symptoms of trauma.

Addiction

Having a loved one who struggles with addiction can be incredibly stressful and confusing. Therapy can provide a space to process the damage often caused by addiction and develop new ways of coping with a loved one’s recovery process. 

Community Violence

Communities can dramatically affect our core sense of safety. Individuals who have lived in a chaotic or violent community can develop symptoms of trauma, regardless of whether or not they have directly experienced an act of violence.

Complex Trauma

Complex Trauma can occur when an individual experiences a series of compacted traumatic events, such as working as a first responder or encountering frequent abuse as a child. 

Divorce

The process of divorce can be chaotic and confusing in nature. Individuals who have experienced traumatic divorces often need support in recreating life post divorce as well as processing the grief of what life used to look like.

Domestic Violence

Intimate relationships are intended to be a source of safety and support. When intimate partner violence is experienced or witnessed, symptoms of trauma can occur.

Grief

Grief can take many shapes and forms, including unexpected loss or ambiguous loss (loss which lacks a clear sense of closure). Therapy can provide a safe space to process the complexity of grief.

Infidelity

When betrayal occurs in a relationship the effects can be devastating. Emotional infidelity, physical infidelity, or having a partner who engages in chronic porn use, often ruptures the sense of safety within the relationship.

Life Change Event

Major Life events that are experienced with extreme stress can lead to symptoms of trauma. Examples of life change events may include the birth of a child, a career change, loss of a job, or having moved to a new place.

Natural Disaster

The process of rebuilding post natural disaster can be a daunting task, both physically and emotionally. Therapy can help provide space to process feelings of fear, loss and hope.