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Psychotherapist questions the generic and casual use of the term 'trauma' for everything

Trauma being used generally by people for every negative consequence, erases any need to think about other possible factors that contributed to a specific behavior or consequence.

Psychotherapist questions the generic and casual use of the term 'trauma' for everything
Cover Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @joenuccitherapy

One psychotherapist seems to have had enough of people randomly using an important term like trauma. The psychotherapist in the discussion here is Joe Nucci. He has a popular presence on TikTok, where he has described himself as a “licensed psychotherapist sharing mental health facts and tips.”

Recently a video posted by him went viral where he is seen talking about why he does not agree with attaching the label "trauma" to everything.

Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @joenuccitherapy
Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @joenuccitherapy

In the video, Nucci says, “I am so over the cult of trauma. The cult of trauma is other mental health professionals and mental health enthusiasts on social media who assign everything to a trauma response.” He further explained that by naming every pattern of behavior as a "trauma response," one erases any need to think about other possible factors that contributed to a specific behavior or consequence.

Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @joenuccitherapy
Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @joenuccitherapy

Attaching the label of "trauma" with everything allows people the liberty to not take into consideration things like temperament, biology or chemical imbalance, Nucci states in his video. Individuals no longer have to think whether things like life being hard, relationships being unfair and people being downright cruel could have a role in the way things have shaped up.

Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @joenuccitherapy
Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @joenuccitherapy

Nucci's issue with such casual usage of trauma in his own words is, “As more and more people use the word trauma, it’s going to be more important to distinguish if we’re using it in a colloquial, casual way, or if we’re using it in a way with clinical significance.” Concluding the video he directly addressed his followers by stating, "I’m genuinely curious to get all of your opinions on whether or not this is a good or bad thing, that the word has become so ubiquitous.”

Mental Health America's definition of "emotional and psychological trauma is an emotional response to a distressing event or situation that breaks your sense of security. Traumatic experiences often involve a direct threat to life or safety, but anything that leaves you feeling overwhelmed or isolated can result in trauma.”

This definition showcases why there has been growing confusion regarding the label of trauma and why it is now so easily attached to every negative consequence. Most of the time any negative event is bound to leave one feeling overwhelmed or isolated, which can be confused with trauma. Moreover, during this time it becomes difficult to take into consideration things like personal faults or cruelty of other people.

Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @sublinear
Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @sublinear

 

Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @miguel_lira
Image Source: TikTok/ Photo by @miguel_lira

The comment section was more or less in agreement with Nucci. @maybeabsolutely33 put in her two cents on the topic and wrote, "Trauma may be valid to a certain extent but it does not mean you can stop taking responsibility/finding a solution". @blondeone1102 was in agreement with the subject matter of the video and commented, "YES!! Been saying this! I’m so tired of psychological buzzwords exempting people from responsibility." @elleluvssnow also believes that the word trauma has become very general in use and approach and wrote, "It also absolves many people of taking personal accountability and genuinely reflecting and doing work to heal."

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