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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Who are TRA's programs for?

The programs are for any adult who is a survivor of childhood trauma.

What's trauma?

A traumatic event is any kind of significant event that has emotional, psychological, or physical impact. This can be any kind of painful event such as:

  • bullying, ridicule, or physical harm
  • various forms of neglect
  • parents' divorce
  • significant illness, death, or suicide of someone important to you
  • a natural disaster (flood, tornado, house fire)
  • a sense of not belonging because you are "different" (religion, nationality, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity).

  • Trauma isn't just sexual abuse. Seventy percent of Americans have at least one traumatic event during their childhood, which could be characterized as an experience of vulnerability or powerlessness. Trauma comes from the lingering effects of a traumatic event. Some people have resources and support, and, over time, they recover. But other people don't seem to recover. They get stuck, and they continue to suffer for years, and even decades, after the event occurred.

    What are some effects of trauma?

    Effects of trauma include, but are not limited to:

    • difficulty in relationships (strong need to stay close or conversely not to get close to others)
    • discomfort with emotions, or doing your best to avoid them completely
    • unhealthy habits, addictions, and self-harm
    • delayed grief about what happened in childhood, and what you missed in your childhood
    • feeling powerless or like a "victim" in other situations besides the original traumatic event Trauma is a normal response to an abnormal event.

    You are not "crazy." Our various programs help you to understand the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behavior now and what happened when you were a child. Can I get better? Absolutely! But you must do the work to make it happen. No one else can do it for you. You can learn and improve skills that will assist you to recover and live a healthier and more satisfying life. And you are not alone! More than 1000 people in southwest Michigan have completed one of our programs.

    What are the programs like?

    In most programs, a small group of trauma survivors (6-10) meets for a series of sessions in a private comfortable setting. The group is led by two trained facilitators or mental health professionals, and sometimes a religious helper (priest, deacon, or sister). Some programs are conducted virtually. There is also a program that you can download and do on your own (RENEW or RENOVARSE).

    Do I have to tell the group what happened to me as child?

    NO! You will have a chance to tell one of the facilitators as much or as little as you choose. Some survivors find it helpful to tell their story; others do not. It is your choice. However, in the group you are not permitted to tell your history. Telling your history is not helpful to your healing process, and it can be upsetting to others in the group.

    How much does the program cost?

    All of TRA's programs are free of charge.

    Where can I learn more?

    This is a wealth of information you can explore on the website here or you can call Trauma Recovery Associates at 269.459.2121. Talking to us is not a commitment.

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