Trauma resiliency determines what a person finds to be traumatic and how traumatic a given event is for that individual.
What Is Trauma?
In order to understand trauma resiliency we first have to figure out what trauma is.
For a lot of people, when they think about trauma they think of things like domestic violence, sexual abuse, near-death experiences, physical assault, verbal abuse, severe car accidents, etc.
All those things are certainly traumatic. But other things can be experienced as trauma as well.
Bullying, a bad breakup, ordinary car accidents, changing jobs, losing a good friend, retirement and/or aging can be traumatic experiences for some people.
This is due to trauma resiliency.
The Science of Trauma Resiliency
Scientists understand that trauma resiliency plays a big role in determining whether someone has PTSD and how much of it they get. But so far there’s not a consensus about where it comes from.
For several years the dominant theory was that processing of trauma varies from person to person because of genetics. It was thought that trauma resiliency was inherited from one’s parents and was set somehow at birth.
More recently researchers have been studying the quality of the connection (or lack thereof) in the family system. Particular focus is given to the first 5 to 6 years of life when the more primitive parts of the brain and central nervous system are developing.
When the child was in distress did a parent or caregiver reliably provide comfort? Was the child’s environment safe and predictable, and therefore less stressful? It appears that if a person answers yes to these questions and others like them that person has a much higher level of trauma resiliency.
One example that is frequently cited is military service. Two men can join the same platoon, go through the same battles in war, witness the same atrocities, and lose the same friends. But for some reason, one comes back and is able to reintegrate completely into society. The other returns home with debilitating posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms and is unable to function in the world.
Trauma resiliency is the key factor differentiating the experiences of the two men.
Building Trauma Resiliency
Somatic Experiencing is the only form of trauma treatment I could find that creates trauma resiliency and clients. Other trauma treatments can decrease the effects of previous experiences on current situations. But they usually do so either overwhelming the nervous system, not rebuilding it.
That’s why I provide SE services to my trauma patients.
If you struggling with the effects of trauma I would love to help you. You can call me at 928-415-1051 or fill out the form below for a free 20-minute phone consultation. If you’re willing to do that, we can work together and decide if we’re a good fit.