Types of Trauma

Historical Trauma

Historical trauma is one in which a group experiences a massive traumatic event such as genocide, colonization, war, and/or displacement. Examples include Native American and First Nations Peoples, Slavery of Black and Brown Peoples, and the Holocaust (Shoah).

Intergenerational Trauma

Undiagnosed and untreated trauma, symptoms and behaviors that are passed down through the family as individuals attempt to adapt to unhealthy styles of relating and responses to abuse and neglect of all kinds. This can also result in Complex PTSD.

Single Incident Trauma

A one-time traumatic event such as a car or plane crash, sexual assault, physical assault, robbery/burglary, natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, earthquake)

Interpersonal Trauma

Mental, emotional, physical, sexual or spiritual abuse or neglect in childhood and/or adulthood.

Betrayal Trauma

Typically a relational trauma where a trusted person in someone's life violated that trust. The closer the relationship, the more intense the betrayal which can lead to difficulties with trust and intimacy in future relationships.

Developmental Trauma​

Multiple or chronic exposure during childhood to one or more forms of developmentally adverse interpersonal trauma (abandonment, betrayal, physical assaults, sexual assaults, threats to bodily integrity, coercive practices, emotional abuse, witnessing violence and death) with subjective experience of (rage, betrayal, fear, resignation, defeat, shame).

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Any physical injury to the brain or brain stem. Examples are car accidents where the head incurred a direct injury, sport-related injuries to the head, epilepsy, stroke and more.

Medical Trauma

Any difficult experience an individual may have pursuing medical care, receiving medical care or recovering from medical care whether the care received was appropriate or not and the person is having difficulty adjusting and moving through the experience.

Vicarious Trauma

Witnessing a traumatic event happening to another individual or group, or responding to the aftermath. This can apply to anyone, but also includes first responders (police, fire, paramedics, emergency room personnel) and those in helping professions (therapists, social workers, case managers, ministers).