Thinking about the Experience and Effects of Childhood Trauma on the Adult Patient

Here I am taking trauma to refer to the wound created in the psyche caused by the psyche having been overwhelmed by extremely difficult and unbearable experience at a time when the individual was too young to understand what was going on.

In our early years an event or combination of events occurred which as it were breached the barriers of ourselves. We were defenceless and overrun by invading threatening forces.

I am using metaphors to try to describe this area of traumatic experience because I find it can help us make sense of things.

After the invading force penetrated the vulnerable area of ourselves it may have quickly subsided, but like a village that has been overwhelmed by flood water, after the river level falls the villagers are left to survey and repair and try to come to terms with the damage.

I think this has to be born in mind, trauma causes a wound, and while in many if not all ways life returns to normal the fact of the wound always remains to be true.

However it may be possible to find a way to think about what has happened. To know the trauma through what we can learn about its lasting effects upon us. To learn more about what happened, ie, the trauma that was experienced.

Some people have never been able to understand the sense of their psychic wounds. They expect themselves to be able to carry on in normal everyday ways and do not allow for these facts. This creates further levels of conflict in the self.