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Direct and Indirect Trauma

September 06, 20223 min read

The blog post will describe the difference between direct and indirect trauma.

When you think about trauma, you probably define it as something that happened to you. And while this is true, it’s only one part of the equation.

This common notion is what we refer to as direct trauma. 

As the name implies, it’s a traumatic event that happened directly to you. And it’s the kind of trauma that many people refer to when talking about such overwhelming events.

If you know me, you know that I’ve experienced this type of trauma.

At six years old, I was raped by a stranger. 

This isn’t something that I witnessed or heard about – it happened to me.

You already know that recovering from such trauma isn’t a quick or easy process.

But what you might not know is that the same goes for indirect trauma.

This other type of trauma is also self-explanatory. It’s something that didn’t happen to you directly but still had an impact on you. In one way or another, your senses became involved in the traumatic event.

A perfect example of this is the Sandy Hook shootings. 

It was very much indirect trauma for me as a mother. Even though it didn’t happen directly to me, it took me quite a while to recover from it.

But why is it so important to discuss direct and indirect trauma?

It’s because in many cases, the latter gets minimized. You may feel like your trauma isn’t valid just because it didn’t happen to you.

If this is the case, I want you to understand that this isn’t true. Your body responds very similarly to direct and indirect trauma, so both are valid physiological responses.

Just because something didn’t happen to you doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t allow yourself to work through it. It also deserves the same kind of understanding and attention as direct trauma.

What you’re feeling is real, no matter if it happened to you or not. Remember this and do the work necessary to bring yourself to a state of balance and peace.

If you’d like to learn more about healing trauma, go ahead and listen to my podcast.

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you increase your sense of self-worth so you can say “no” use your voice, stand up for yourself, and feel more confident:

1. Listen to The Bold Survivor Podcast

Join me each week as I interview survivors, experts and drop juicy tidbits of my own. Each episode contains powerful information to help you heal your wounding, connect better, and own that beautiful innate value that lives inside Every. Single. One. of. Us! —  Click Here

2. Grab a free copy of my book

It’s my signature system that takes you down into your core story and back up like a Phoenix to fly free. — Click Here

3. Join The Bold Survivor Collective and connect with survivors who are healing too It’s my Facebook community where bold survivors learn to heal, rise up, and be the bold beautiful souls they were called to be. —  Click Here

4. Join my Year-Long Group Coaching Membership Program

I’m bringing together women who are eager to end the self-doubt, shame and guilt….If you’d like to work with me on your emotional wellbeing plans… Click Here


Contessa Akin

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