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Friday, December 31, 2010

Understanding Shock Trauma

What is Shock Trauma?
As opposed to developmental trauma, which develops over time when traumatic events overwhelm a child, shock trauma occurs usually from an overwhelming one-time event. Shock trauma can occur to an adult or a child. It can occur from experiencing the traumatic event or witnessing it. The traumatic event is usually sudden, unexpected and has a distinct beginning and end.

Understanding Shock Trauma

Many people describe their experience of shock trauma as if their whole world has been turned upside down. They describe it as if the rug has been pulled out from under their feet. Often, their perspective of their internal world and the world around them changes and they feel unsafe and that life is very unpredictable.

As with any overwhelming event, the trauma is not in the event itself, but in the way the person experiences the event. As a result, two people can experience the same event and one person might become traumatized while the other person does not.

What Type of Events Cause Shock Trauma?
There are many different types of events, which can cause shock trauma, including:
  • accidents
  • natural disasters
  • acts of war
  • assaults
  • falls
  • invasive medical procedures, and so on
Understanding Shock Trauma

What Are the Symptoms of Shock Trauma?
Each person has his or her own individual experience with regard to shock trauma. These symptoms can include:
  • anger
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • depression
  • a sense of helplessness
  • a sense of hopelessness
  • a need to be vigilant all or most of the time
  • flashbacks
  • nightmares
  • isolation
  • loss of interest in activities that used to be pleasurable
  • exhaustion
In my next blog post, I will discuss psychotherapy for shock trauma and the treatment modalities that I find most effective in my psychotherapy private practice in NYC.

I am a licensed psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, Somatic Experiencing therapist, and EMDR therapist in NYC.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me: josephineolivia@aol.com.

See my article:  Psychotherapy For Shock Trauma