The Stress/Trauma Tree
This tree represents how the amount of trauma or stress we experience in our earlier lives greatly influences and creates the “roots” of our emotional and behavioral foundation for the rest of our lives. From our stressful experiences come our negative thoughts, and beliefs about ourselves. These negative beliefs branch out and create our negative feelings such as Anxiety, Depression, Fear, Anger/Rage, even some of our Physical Pain, etc. The Leaves of the tree represent our dysfunctional behaviors, (i.e., drug and alcohol abuse, overeating, smoking, working or shopping too much, being a People Pleaser, a Perfectionist, etc., to mention only a few) which are attempts to cover up or avoid our negative feelings.