Traumatic experiences threaten one’s life or bodily integrity and invoke intense feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and terror. According to Judy Herman, traumatic events “overwhelm the ordinary systems of care that give people a sense of control, connection, and meaning.”
Advances in the neurological and developmental sciences have brought an explosion of evidence demonstrating the devastating, long-term impact of traumatic stress on the developing brain and body. As severe stresses and traumatic events accumulate, the physiological and psychological impact becomes more profound, resulting in a range of adverse responses including neurobiological changes, difficulties regulating affect, and problems forming supportive relationships. As a result, many survivors of trauma suffer the debilitating consequences for the remainder of their lives. (DeCandia & Guarino, 2015).