Everywhere you turn these days, it seems you run into something about trauma. The word is used so often, and in so many contexts, the meaning seems to be lost through overuse, even as it is poorly understood.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides this definition, which I think is pretty helpful in starting to understand trauma:

“Trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being” (SAMHSA, 2014)

It’s a fairly broad definition, to be sure, and encompasses much more than the physical trauma we see when one is seriously injured in an accident or the kind of emotional injury that results in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Some key features of this definition are really important:

* This definition acknowledges that both events and circumstances can create harm that has lasting adverse effects

* It is the individual’s own experience that matters; two of us may be caught in a bank robbery together, and only one of us may experience lasting adverse effects on our functioning and well-being

* The definition takes into consideration the whole person, in the form of well-being.

It looks like there are tons of events and circumstances that could cause trauma, so the definition raises as many questions as it answers. Why do some people have lasting problems because of these different incidents? What helps some people be more resilient, and others more vulnerable, to the impact of trauma? What are the physical, social, and emotional effects of unresolved trauma across the lifespan? And finally, what can be done to heal from trauma?

I’m speaking a lot about trauma in the next few weeks, and I’d love to have you join me at any or all of these events:

The Impact of Trauma across Lifespan.
Film Screening and panel discussion
Jan 31 at Cinemapolis.
Click here for more info

When Elder Care Hurts: How to juggle priorities, set boundaries and feel good about saying “No”!
FREE Online Workshop
Jan 31, 2pm
Click here for more info

Just the Winter Blues? Facts and Myths about Seasonal Affective Disorder
Webinar for South Central Regional Library Council
Feb 15
Click here for more info

When Elder Care Hurts: The Q.U.I.C.K. Map to Preserve Your Peace, Save Your Sanity, and Find the Right Path for Your Caregiving Journey Online course for family caregivers with trauma histor
Starts 15 Feb
Click here for more info

Trauma-Informed Care: Making Peace with the Past
Two-part Webinar Series for The Eden Alternative™
Coming soon to www.edenalt.org

Care Partner Connection: Office Hours
Ongoing, free community.
Click here for more info

All my best,

Lisa K.

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