The Meaning of Trauma
June 22, 2020
Trauma turns the world upside down and inside out, disrupting our ability to process feelings and meaning. In psychology, the word “affect” is used to mean emotions or feelings. A big part of trauma-informed psychotherapy is about working to process trauma-linked emotions and regaining—or learning—affect regulation and affect tolerance.
Donald Kalsched, author of The Inner World of Trauma, offers us his useful definition of trauma: “Trauma is about the fact that we are all given more to experience in this life than we can bear to experience consciously.” (This quote is from a lecture Dr. Kalsched gave by the title “Glimpses Through the Veil: Encounters With the Numen of Clinical Work,” which can be viewed on YouTube.)