Trauma and Loss

Trauma and loss happens to everyone. Whether  a single incident or  more complicated situation, counseling interventions/treatments can increase the likelihood of overcoming these difficult times. In times of divorce, death, major life changes, chronic illness, and natural aging; counseling can be vital to achieving a state of well-being again.

There are 3 forms of trauma:

  • Acute — a single incident causing the trauma.
  • Chronic — generally caused by prolonged, repeated situations.  Domestic/partner abuse or violence
  • Complex — which can be a combination of chronic abuse and a single precipitating event or incident. Often referred to C-PTSD or complex PTSD 

There are 8 types of Grief/Loss:

  • Anticipatory — (lesser known type) loss is experienced before actual loss occurs. 
  • Common — usually non-debilitating. Intensity of feelings are generally worked through until they decrease in intensity and a person finds a “new-normal” he/she can exist in and manage.
  • Complicated — (Small percentage of people experience) people are prevented from participating in their daily routine and are “shut-down”.
  • Delayed — feelings of loss increases over time, seeming to have a delayed emergence.  Initial loss is not fully actualized and emerges later.
  • Inhibited — feelings are deflected by focusing on or turning attention onto others needs; allowing persons who experienced the loss to be distracted and avoid feelings.
  • Disenfranchised — often unsupported/unaccepted by those around.
    • Examples:
      • issues with pets (death or loss)
      • non-family member situation/loss
      • part of ourselves (loss of body function or physical body part)
      • racism/discrimination/opression
  • Absent –(similar to inhibited) feelings are silenced and the person carries on as if nothing is wrong, however he/she is in a state of extreme denial, avoidance, and not accepting the reality of the situation.
  • Exaggerated — (like C-PTSD in many ways) several losses at the same time or over a short period of time.  Left untreated persons can become severely depressed.

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