The Two Types of Trauma

Big-T Trauma

This type of trauma occurs when a person experiences a significant, distressing or life-changing event.

Big-T trauma can include experiences like:

  • Sexual assault and abuse

  • Natural disaster

  • Auto collision

  • Sudden death of a loved one

  • Medical emergency

  • Enduring, witnessing or perpetrating violence

Small-t Trauma

Often overlooked, this type of trauma occurs when a person experiences multiple, smaller distressing events. Over time, they can seriously interfere with a person's emotional functioning.

Small-t trauma can include experiences such as:

  • Bullying

  • Divorce

  • Financial insecurity

  • Interpersonal conflict

  • Racism