What is it about?

"Trauma" is used in a lot of different ways by a lot of different people including professionals and researchers. This article attempts to more precisely define the concept to help coordinate conversations between researchers, clinicians, and everyone else. If everyone is discussing the same concept, there is a greater likelihood progress will be made concerning trauma as a phenomenon.

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Why is it important?

If trauma is not defined well, clinicians and researchers will have a difficult time coordinating their findings, developing treatments, and providing diagnoses. Moreover, a clear definition of trauma is needed to facilitate meaningful dialogue between researchers and the general public.


I embarked on writing this article because I wanted to contribute to trauma research more broadly and discovered that I needed to pin down exactly what trauma was if I was to get any traction. In addition, as I began reading philosophical and psychological literature on the topic, I quickly realized that different people were using the term in starkly different ways. Being able to figure out how one researcher's findings correlated to another researchers' conclusions was a difficult process. I hope this article helps clarify a term that seems to be quite slippery.

Adam Blehm
Rejoice Christian School

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: What is trauma? A critique and definition., Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, May 2024, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/teo0000274.
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