There are generally speaking two types of trauma, described by Dr Francine Shapiro (2001) – see EMDR - as small ‘t’ and large ‘T’ trauma.
Shock or Large T trauma involves a sudden threat that is perceived by the central nervous system as overwhelming and/or life threatening. It is a single episode traumatic event. Examples include car accidents, violence, surgery, natural disasters, rape/domestic abuse/sexual abuse, battlefield assaults and war.
Developmental trauma refers to events that occur over time and gradually affect and alter a clients neurological system so that it remains in a subliminally traumatized state. This type of trauma can be caused by neglect, abandonment, parental separation and emotional abuse to name a few. There can also be early critical messages, bullying, being teased or slighted etc. Although we can often manage our lives relatively successfully, this type of trauma can set the stage for an underlying sense of fear, lack of self confidence and negative self beliefs or beliefs about others or the world.
I have found that EMDR helps clients quickly resolve traumatic experiences. ‘Large T’ trauma can often be resolved after a few sessions. For ‘small t’ trauma we would work together to understand and map the past challenges in your life and then agree on where to start.