Sexual Trauma Study Notes

Topics: Psychological trauma, Domestic violence, Sexual abuse Pages: 4 (719 words) Published: September 18, 2013
1. TRAUMA, SEXUAL TRAUMA & COUNSELLING
1.1 DEFINING STRESS, CRISES & TRAUMA
Stress
• A strain we feel at different times/in different situations • Set of external forces impinging on the person (unemployment, crime, etc) • Set of psychological & physiological reactions (racing heart, sweating palms etc) • Can be opportunity for growth - The spark that pushes us into action • The extent to which an individual experiences stress depends on the event, together with the individual’s personality & ability to cope

Crises
• A normal reaction to a difficult experience an individual has not faced before • In crises a person feels - Confused, overwhelmed & unable to cope • Can be an external event, or an internal one caused by development • A turning point - An opportunity to learn skills, find resources & adapt

Trauma
Trauma Definitions
• “Situations in which the victim is rendered powerless and great danger is involved” “Profound deviation from normal life experience”
THUS sudden, overwhelming, unanticipated, suggests threat of injury or death. experience - fear, helplessness, loss of control & extreme powerlessness • Traumatic events - extraordinary

- overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life
- generally involve threats to life or bodily integrity, or a close personal encounter with
violence or death.
• Most notable characteristic:
the feelings of helplessness & terror that victims are left to deal with.

4
The Effects of Trauma
• Trauma overtaxes the ability to cope
• Can damage mental health
• Traumatised people feel & act as though their nervous systems have been disconnected from the present:
- Persistent expectation of danger
- Imprint of the traumatic event that does not fade
- Numbing response of giving up that becomes generalised.
• Psychologically & mentally, trauma refers to:
- wounding of emotions, will to live
- beliefs about the self & the world
- dignity and sense of self &...
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