Despite the initial understanding of the word ‘triggered’ as relating to the clinical phenomenon of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), this language has become a common part of the vernacular today, used by many people to apply to a wide variety of experiences and events. Counselling students are particularly sensitised to trauma, as well as identity politics, and are familiar with trigger warnings at college. They themselves have experienced trauma at high rates. Therefore, we were interested to understand how they might be using the word and interpreting the experience of being ‘triggered’, whether different sources of being triggered are related to emotional reactions, and whether a discourse analysis might indicate how and why the term has become useful and for what other experiences it might be serving as a stand-in. In this mixed-methods study, 79 counselling students from around the country shared their definitions and experiences of being ‘triggered’. Participants completed surveys and wrote narratives, which, via thematic qualitative analysis, were coded into five themes. The quantitative analysis focused on the relationship of feelings to themes and the relationship between anger suppression and coping with each theme. Discourse analysis explored how individuals wrote about responsibility and anger. It was discovered that those who wrote about being triggered from a past sexual assault did not discuss anger, nor the responsibility of others to protect them (as those who wrote about microaggressions did), but positioned themselves as overreactors. Results are discussed with regard to training and practice.