Trauma counseling is a specialized therapy that targets two types of trauma, single event and complex trauma. Single event trauma is an event such as a car accident or a natural disaster. Whereas complex trauma is an event, a repeated event (abuse), or a chain of events that occurred in childhood.
Typically with a single event trauma counseling is relatively quick unless the trauma is longer than 90 days. Usually after 90 days the trauma typically becomes PTSD and requires more time in counseling. With a true single event, a few sessions of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is usually enough for complete resolution.
Complex Trauma usually begins in childhood and takes more time. EMDR is one of the preferred therapy choices for complex trauma. The other two are Somatic Experiencing, and Internal Family Systems. I use EMDR.
When trauma occurs the information of that event is typically processed by your brain. Most times your brain will process this information and when finished it stores it in an adaptive way. In this case there will be no triggers or emotional strength to the memory. However, if the trauma is maladaptively stored, you may be consciously or subconsciously triggered and experience disturbing emotions, images, thoughts, and physical sensations around this memory. Most of the triggers will likely be subconscious and you may struggle with unwanted thoughts, sudden changes in emotion, a sense of feeling unsettled or troubled, trouble sleeping, nightmares, chronic illnesses, and feelings of anxiety or depression without a specific cause (to name a few).
EMDR approaches these maladaptively stored events by creating an avenue in which the events are desensitized and reprocessed so that the memory is no longer emotionally triggering. This therapy, in essence, works with your own brain to heal itself much like your body will heal a cut. As a result, therapy is faster, less time-consuming, and more powerful because the treatment route comes from your own self and not from a treatment plan devised by the therapist. As a result, you may remember the event, but it no longer has the power to make you miserable. The results are a free, peaceful, and joyful life.