Defining trauma can be a challenge not made easier by the fact that it has become a “buzzword,” often times used to replace everyday stress, as in, “I had a traumatic day at work.”
The official definition that psychologists and psychiatrists use to diagnose trauma is that it is caused by a stressful occurrence “outside the range of usual human experience and that would be markedly distressing to almost anyone.” A trauma is something that happens outside of our understanding of how the world is supposed to work. Or to put it bluntly, a trauma is any kind of life event that kicks your butt.
It generally takes about three months to re-establish equilibrium after a trauma. The return to “normal” is actually a “new normal.” Approximately one out of three people who have had a traumatic experience don’t recover to a “new normal,” but instead develop P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). PTSD is failure to recover from a traumatic event. The behaviors brought on by PTSD can occur soon after the event or be delayed for many months or even years.
Why hypnosis for treatment?
Hypnosis is proven to be very effective as a treatment tool for PTSD. People who are highly hypnotizable score high on measures of dissociation. People with PTSD score high on measures of hypnotizability and dissociation. Hypnosis is essentially a controlled state of dissociation and as such is effective.
Just know this, PTSD is a “normal” response by “normal” people to a traumatic situation.