​​Trauma occurs when we are faced with something that we can't protect ourselves from, and there is no support to help us process what has happened. 

Trauma can be physical or sexual abuse, it can be verbal, emotional or physical violence, and it can also be an accident, surgery, a life change (such as parents divorcing or marrying, or going to a new school), loss or neglect (material or emotional).

Trauma can be experienced as physical symptoms (shaking, flush, lack of breath or hyperventilating, rapid heartbeat, pain, tension, headache, crying), emotional (sudden out of control, or lack of, emotion), thoughts (returning to traumatic events, dwelling on traumatic outcomes, interpretting everything as dangerous), or a sense of danger. 

What constitutes trauma differs from person to person, and the age the event(s) occurred.  When we are very young, we have few resources to help us deal with difficult situations, whereas when we are older we have more and may be able to get through a difficult situation without traumatic repercussions.

When we are infants, we can't protect ourselves from our parent's inability to meet our needs.  If they were unable to meet our needs in some way (physical, emotional, or energetic) we can have a traumatic reaction that will effect our ability to trust and have relationships with others and may lead to other difficulties feeling safe or functioning in the world. 

Trauma is stored in the body and the traumatized person feels overwhemed and alone. Healing trauma, therefore, means working with the body to release the stored memories with an attuned other (the therapist) who can be present and support the change that is trying to happen.