Do you know the difference between Type I and Type II Trauma?
Type I trauma refers to single episodes, such as a car or industrial accident, a natural disaster, or a single assault. These are thought to result in the disturbances that characterize Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Some single events, such as the suicide of a loved one or physical and sexual assaults can have severe long-term effects.
Type II or complex trauma, refers to repeated exposure to threat of violence, including domestic violence (as victim or witness) as well as childhood abuse. Such abuse is often perpetrated by a family member. They involve; betrayal by caregivers, violation of self, and violation of the fundamental moral values or beliefs that compromise normal development. The most well documented types of these traumatic experiences are childhood physical and sexual abuse and victimization through exposure to malevolent violence (sexual assault, domestic violence). Betrayal at the hands of primary attachment figures can have profound and devastating effects on development. Reactions to these childhood maltreatment experiences appear to be much more complicated. They include the inability to regulate one’s affect and problems with maladaptive meaning, which includes poor perceptions of self, others, and traumatic events.
How could you help your client who suffered at the hands of a family member safely confront his/her intense feelings and difficult memories? Find out more here.
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