Trauma refers to intense and overwhelming experiences that involve serious loss, threat, or harm to a person’s physical and/or emotional well-being. Examples of trauma could include any distressing events such as war, global pandemic, an accident, abuse, or the unexpected loss of a loved one.

Secondary Trauma can be incurred when an individual is exposed to people who have been traumatized themselves, disturbing descriptions of traumatic events by a survivor, or others inflicting cruelty on one another. Symptoms of secondary trauma are similar to those who have experienced the trauma firsthand.

Trauma is complicated. It can be obvious, with a clear cause, and symptoms that seem to make sense. Or, trauma can be buried beneath depression, anxiety, and anger, without any recognizable origin. Trauma can continue to cause both emotional and physical symptoms for many years after the event.

Common Reactions

  • Denial, shock, numbness
  • Shock, numbness
  • Confusion
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Anxiety, worrying, panic
  • Jumpiness, hyper-vigilance
  • Guilt
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Sadness, depression
  • Fatigue
  • Disturbing images or memories
  • Nausea, headaches
  • Feeling vulnerable or unsafe
  • Social withdrawal
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anger and blame of others
  • Numbness or feeling like you are not reacting

Coping Tools and Trauma Reaction Management

  • Talk Therapy
  • Psycho-education about your Trauma
  • Resources and Support
  • Recognition of Triggers
  • Relaxation Techniques/ Mindfulness
  • Grounding Skills
  • Referrals for Specialized Treatment
  • Medication


Please contact the Counseling Center if you would like to schedule an appointment with a Licensed Mental Health Professional.