Beth A. Krohn M.F.T.

The Development of the Trauma Field

As the field of trauma has developed, there has been a shift from seeing Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as exclusively a result of war trauma, to include the victims of sexual assault of all kinds, child abuse, domestic violence, other types of violence and natural disasters. Another line of development has been to understand the traumatic impact of being raised by a person who is hurtful, critical, addicted, shaming, self-centered, unpredictably abandoning and/or neglectful.

Therapies such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) are highly effective in desensitizing trauma and developing a more positive understanding of, and empathy for, the traumatized self. For more information please visit EMDR International Association. Several therapies have been developed based on a deeper understanding of the trauma of painful/distant relationships with parents, such as the Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy (DNMS). For more information please visit Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy Institute.

Other lines of development in the trauma field include:

An understanding that even though events are common, they can still be experienced as traumatic depending on the context of the events and the temperament of the person experiencing them. Examples of this are divorce, bullying, being shamed in front of peers, loss of people we are close to, witnessing violence etc.

Because surviving trauma involves extreme measures, our normally existing parts of self can become more extreme, stuck in the past, isolated and in conflict with each other. This results in painful self-criticism, anxiety, depression and having difficulty moving forward in our lives. The most effective way to deal with these inner conflicts is getting to know and deeply listening to the needs and feelings of each part, meeting those needs, and learning skills to increase cooperation and understanding between parts. Towards this end, several ego state therapies have been developed, including DNMS and Internal Family Systems.