Differentiating Two Types Of Trauma: Interpersonal And Accidental

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Trauma happens in two primary ways. First, it can happen as a blatant and intended act against another person. When someone is abused in any way, they are experiencing interpersonal trauma. Second, trauma can happen indirectly, by way of an accident, giving the namesake to accidental trauma. Though interpersonal trauma is rarely of personal consequence, i.e. being someone’s fault or inviting the trauma to happen, accidental trauma is almost never someone’s fault.

The differences do not end there. According to Insight, “The core difference between intentional interpersonal trauma and something like an accident is that the person’s beliefs about themselves and about other people and about the world can be shattered [with the former],” the article explains. How the trauma incident plays out is significant. Trauma can completely disrupt one’s beliefs not only about themselves but about other people. For example, there are shifts which can resemble:

  • People can no longer be trusted
  • People are not good
  • People do not have good intentions
  • I can not trust myself
  • I am not a good person
  • I do not have the good intentions I thought I did

In the article it is described as a “moral trauma” which can come from accidental, as well as interpersonal trauma. “Sometimes when people are relatively, or very good people and they do something which is against their morality, even though it’s not their fault, they can be one of the worst traumas at all.”  Likewise, for interpersonal trauma, when people believe things about themselves then perhaps cause an accidental trauma toward someone else, they in turn are traumatized and experience an existential breakdown of morality.

Recovering From Interpersonal And Accidental Trauma

One of the prevailing problems with healing from trauma is not being able to let the trauma go. Problematically, yet practically, the brain creates coping mechanisms to protect someone from accessing their traumatic memories. The traumatic event itself is so significantly painful that the brain creates distinct barriers which block off energy, emotions, and memory of the event. Trauma therapy can include multiple therapy types, treatment methods, and healing modalities to safely guide someone through their memories and heal their source of trauma. One cannot go into the past and change what has happened. They can perform a sort of time travel surgery, however, and heal the pain they’ve held onto for years.
Treating trauma is a specialty which must be approached holistically in order to heal mind, body, and spirit. Avalon Malibu offers trusted programs of transformation which produce trusted results in recovery. For a confidential assessment and more information about our programs, call 1 888-958-7511.

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