What is Psychological Trauma?


Webster’s dictionary definition trauma as:  a)  a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury, and b)  an emotional upset, the personal trauma of an executive who is not living up to his own expectations.

 Trauma is an automatic reaction learned from what the mind a) believes to be a life threatening experience or b) reaction learned from a long term or on-going bad experience.

 In nature, humans and animals learned to use trauma for survival, but people have also learned to traumatize each other.  Today, trauma is no longer a needed survival tool; indeed, it’s even harmful.  Fortunately, RLT removes trauma.

There are two types of trauma:  “Big T” and “Little t.” 

“Big T” traumas are individual traumatic events, such as rape, death of a loved one, violence, an accident in an airplane, train or car, and war experiences.

“Little t” trauma is long term or ongoing negative experiences such as constant criticism, unrelenting teasing, or being ignored.  Constant put-downs, such as being told over and over that “You are stupid” or “You will never amount to anything” are “Little t” events.

RLT works with Big T and Little t traumas.  Both types leave the traumatized person feeling out of control.  RLT allows people to maintain self-control, which then enables them to deal with a problem or challenge with logical and reasonable responses.  Before using RLT, people’s trauma often presses them to over respond.  Actions like rage, fight, flight, freeze (going to sleep, or in extreme cases, catatonia), and illnesses of unknown origin become common.


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