Trauma Shatters Lives if left unresolved. Pauline Forde Art therapist EMDR, couple therapy for survivious of childhood trauma.
Trauma can shatter lives if left unresolved.
The impact of trauma occurs on various levels and can interfere with an individual’s ability to function in daily life, affecting relationships, work, physical and mental health as well as personal development.

What is Psychological or Emotional Trauma?


Many people experience emotional trauma after certain events in their lives. Common types and causes of emotional trauma are being physically assaulted, being raped or sexually assaulted,  abused in childhood, a traumatic childbirth, extreme violence or military combat, seeing people hurt or killed, a natural disaster, such as flooding or an earthquake, the sudden loss of a loved one or a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness.

These events are so stressful they can overwhelm our ordinary capacity to cope. They result in intense fear, extreme feelings of helplessness and crushing loss of control.


Some children's traumatic experiences  are severe and pervasive, such as physical, sexual abuse, profound neglect, witnessing domestic, separation from family members, and revictimization by others.These experiences usually begin early in life and can disrupt many aspects of the child’s development, and  can have devastating effects on a child’s physiology, emotions, ability to think, learn, and concentrate, impulse control, self-image, and relationships with others.


Other types of trauma occur following the innocuous but upsetting experiences that daily life brings us. This kind of trauma is disturbing because of the personal implication it holds. Examples would be emotional abuse or neglect, experiences of shame, humiliation, being left out, bullied or ridiculed and feeling not cared for (Shapiro, 2011).

Trauma by definition is unbearable and intolerable (Van der Kolk,2014).  Trauma, including one-time, multiple, or long-lasting repetitive events, affects everyone differently.  The impact of trauma occurs on various levels and can interfere with an individual’s ability to function in daily life, affecting relationships, work, physical and mental health as well as personal development.

The symptoms of unresolved trauma can be ever-present or they can come and go, remaining hidden for years and then suddenly surfacing. They can also be triggered by stress. The symptoms of unresolved trauma can grow increasingly complex over time, and the connection to the original trauma experience can diminish, leaving us with the symptoms and no apparent cause. 









  •  Do you have repeated disturbing memories, thoughts, or images of the stressful experience?


  •  Do you suddenly have a feeling as if the stressful experience were happening again?


  •  Do you frequently feel intense anxiety, or have panic attacks?


  •  Do you avoid activities or situations because they remind you of the stressful experience?


  •  Have you lost of interest in activities that you used to enjoy?


  •  Do you have an innate belief that you are bad, worthless, without value or importance?


  •  Do you feel emotionally numb or "frozen"


  • Do you have difficulty sleeping, insomnia, nightmares?


  • Do you have suicidal thoughts and feelings?


  •  Do you have an eating disorder- anorexia, bulimia or obesity?


  •  Do you have phobias, specific overwhelming fears, for instance of spiders?


  •  Do you have an excessive sense of self-blame, taking on inappropriate responsibility as if everything is your fault, making excessive apologies?


  •  Are you mistrustful of others, leading to a variety of short but intense love/hate relationships or refusing to have any relationships? 


  •  Do you use drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, gambling, food, as a way to push difficult emotions and upsetting memories further away?


  •  Do you self-harm?


  •  Do you have certain chronic illnesses or chronic pain?


  •  Do you have ongoing depression spontaneous crying, feelings of despair and hopelessness ?


  •  Do you have memory lapses, especially about the trauma, a decreased ability to concentrate or feel distracted?


  •  Do you sometimes find yourself drifting off and losing a sense of oneself, losing periods of time and feeling like you are completely two or more different people? Perhaps everything and everybody seem unreal, strange, or foreign? 

 Below is a list of problems and complaints that people sometimes have in response to stressful life experiences. If you can answer yes to one or more of the following questions, perhaps you are experiencing symptoms associated with unresolved trauma.
To find out about which therapy helps heal the impact of trauma, please click on the Psychotherapies page- Art Therapy, EMDR and Couple therapy for survivors of childhood trauma.
If you have any questions regarding treatment, please don't hesitate to contact me by - phone, text or email. 
Healing from Trauma

Nobody can "treat"  a war, or abuse, rape, molestation, or any other horrendous events, for that matter; what has happened cannot be undone.

But what can be dealt with are the imprints of the trauma on the body, mind, and soul: the self-loathing; the nightmares and flashbacks; the fog that keeps you from staying on task and from engaging fully in what you are doing; being unable to fully open your heart to another human being.

The challenge of recovery is to reestablish ownership of your body and your mind - of your self. This means feeling free to know what you know and to feel what you feel without becoming overwhelmed, enraged, ashamed, or collapsed. For most people this involves (1) finding a way to become calm and focused, (2) learning to maintain that calm in response to images, thoughts, sounds, or physical sensations that remind you of the past, (3) finding a way to be fully alive in the present and engaged with the people around you, (4) not having to keep secrets from yourself, including secrets about the ways that you have managed to survive.


Bessel Van Der Kolk,

The Body Keeps the Score. Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma