Trauma is a complex issue that can have a significant impact on women’s lives. Unfortunately, many women face a range of societal and cultural factors that can make them more vulnerable to experiencing trauma, such as gender inequality and violence against women. This can lead to a range of physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms that can make it difficult for women to move forward in their healing journey
Women, in particular, may be more likely to experience trauma due to various societal and cultural factors. Understanding what trauma is and what causes it can help women better identify and seek support for their healing journey.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is a psychological and emotional response to an event or experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing. Traumatic events can be experienced directly or indirectly and may include experiences such as physical or sexual abuse, natural disasters, accidents, terrorism, or the sudden death of a loved one. Trauma can also be experienced vicariously, such as through witnessing violence or hearing about a loved one’s traumatic experience.
Trauma occurs when an individual’s nervous system is overwhelmed by an event or experience that exceeds their ability to cope. The body’s natural response to stress is to activate the sympathetic nervous system, which prepares the body for fight or flight. However, when the stress is overwhelming or prolonged, the nervous system can become stuck in a state of hyperarousal, leading to a range of physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms. This can result in a chronic state of stress and anxiety, making it difficult for individuals to feel safe or calm, even in non-threatening situations.
What Causes Trauma for Women?
Women are more likely than men to experience certain types of trauma, such as sexual assault and domestic violence. This is often due to societal and cultural factors that perpetuate gender inequality and violence against women. Women who have experienced trauma may also face additional challenges, such as stigma and shame, that can make it difficult to seek support and healing.
Some common causes of trauma in women include:
Sexual assault: Women are more likely than men to experience sexual assault, which can cause long-term physical and psychological harm.
Domestic violence: Women are also more likely to experience domestic violence, which can include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
Childhood trauma: Women who experienced trauma during childhood, such as neglect or abuse, may be more likely to experience trauma later in life.
Systemic oppression: Women who belong to marginalized communities, such as BIPOC women and LGBTQ2S+ women, may experience trauma as a result of systemic oppression and discrimination.
The Impact of Trauma on Women
Trauma can have a profound impact on women’s physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing.
Some common symptoms of trauma in women include:
Flashbacks and nightmares
Hypervigilance and paranoia
Anxiety and depression
Chronic pain and health problems
Difficulty with relationships and intimacy
Difficulty with trust and safety
It’s important to note that not all women who have experienced trauma will experience the same symptoms or have the same level of impact on their lives. However, seeking support and healing is essential for women who have experienced trauma to move forward in their healing journey.
How Can Trauma be Treated?
Emotionally Focused Individual Therapy (EFIT) is a relatively new form of therapy that combines elements of emotion-focused therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and somatic therapy to treat trauma. EFIT focuses on helping individuals process and integrate traumatic memories by using emotion-focused techniques to help individuals connect with and process their emotions.
EFIT recognizes that trauma can lead to difficulties regulating emotions, which can lead to a range of emotional and psychological symptoms. By working with the emotions that are triggered by the trauma, EFIT can help individuals process and integrate traumatic memories in a way that feels safe and manageable.
During EFIT sessions, the therapist helps the client to identify the emotions that are triggered by the traumatic event and to explore the underlying beliefs and assumptions that contribute to those emotions. The therapist then works with the client to reframe those beliefs and assumptions and to develop new ways of thinking and feeling about the traumatic event.
EFIT also incorporates somatic techniques to help individuals connect with their physical sensations and release physical tension related to trauma.
Overall, EFIT can be a powerful tool for trauma treatment, particularly for individuals who have difficulty accessing their emotions or who have experienced complex trauma. As with any trauma treatment, it’s important to work with a qualified mental health professional who has experience in these modalities to ensure that treatment is tailored to the individual’s unique needs and experiences.
Somatic therapy can also be an effective approach for trauma treatment because it recognizes that trauma is not just a psychological issue but also has physical manifestations. Trauma can become trapped in the body, leading to chronic pain, tension, and other physical symptoms. By working with the body’s physical responses to trauma, somatic therapy can help individuals release these physical symptoms and process the emotional trauma.
If you or someone you know is struggling with trauma, it’s important to seek support from a qualified mental health professional. At Restore Renew Revive Counselling & Couples Therapy, we offer trauma-informed therapy services that can help you process and heal from traumatic experiences.
Marcy trained in a range of modalities, including somatic therapy and EFIT, to provide personalized and effective treatment for trauma. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about our services, please visit our website at https://restorecounselling.ca or give us a call at 902-702-7722. We are here to support you on your journey to healing and growth.