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Trauma does not have one face, in fact it is very complex. People’s traumatic experiences can be similar or vastly different. Trauma is a response to a shocking life altering event. Some examples of situations that can be considered traumatic are a car accident, sexual assault, natural disasters, near death experience, war, and death of a loved one. Avoidance, shock, and denial are expected reactions from the individual involved. Traumatic events can have short or long term effects on individuals.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is an emotional response a sufferer has when they experience a terrible event in their life, such as an accident, rape, natural disaster, war, or something else. After the traumatic event takes place, a sufferer typically suffers shock and denial. Long-term reactions include unpredictable emotions, strained relationships, flashbacks, and even physical symptoms.
3 Types of Trauma
Let's review 3 types of trauma:
Acute Trauma typically results from a single threatening event, such as rape or a natural disaster. This event threatens the individual’s emotional and/or physical security, and creates a lasting impression on their mind affecting their thought process and behavior. Symptoms include:
- Lack of trust
- Inability to truly rest
- Fear of going to the place where the traumatic incident occurred
- Feeling keyed up or hypervigilant
- Becoming more withdrawn
Chronic trauma often results from an individual being exposed to long term distressing events that they experience as being out of their control over an extended period of time such as, long term illness, sexual abuse, war, domestic violence, etc. Additionally, untreated acute trauma or several events of acute trauma can lead to chronic trauma. Symptoms include:
- Unpredictable emotional outbursts
- Body aches
- Trust issues
- Inability to hold down a job
Complex trauma stems from exposure to varied and multiple traumatic events or experiences. Typically they involve interpersonal relationships, making the individual feel trapped and helpless. This is referred to as relational trauma. Mentally, it has a severe impact. Individuals who experience neglect, childhood abuse, domestic violence, traumatic invalidation and constant familial conflict are at risk for developing complex trauma. Symptoms include:
- Health complications
- Inability to have secure relationships
- Performance at work/school
- Difficulty regulating emotions
- Sense of guilt or responsibility
Childhood trauma, like any trauma, can stem from any form – acute, chronic, or complex. Children and young adolescents can have extreme and differing side effects to trauma than adults. Children can experience trauma indirectly, such as, watching a loved one suffer or exposure to violence in the media can manifest their trauma. Older children are more prone to exhibit behaviors similar to adults, such as developing disruptive, destructive, and disrespectful behaviors. Some common symptoms exhibited by children affected by trauma can be:
- Wetting the bed
- Becoming unusually clingy
- Acting out the event
- Becoming mute or more shy
- Avoidance of anything that can trigger them
- Attention problems
- Appetite changes
- Development of new fears
- Loss of interest
- Sleep problems
- Irritability/anger issues
- Headaches/stomach aches
The relationship between a child and their caregiver is vital to their emotional and physical health. If the relationship is broken, they will go on to have problems throughout their life that severely impact their ability to trust, manage emotions, and interact with people and the world around them.
Why Our Trauma Worksheets?
Our trauma worksheets are designed to help practitioners treat their clients with past trauma more effectively.
Benefits of our Trauma Worksheets:
- Take in responses from clients on a digital device like a computer
- Organize client documents in an easy to find folder on your computer or in the cloud
- Search for specific questions and/or answers by using “CTRL + f” function on your keyboard when viewing your PDF
- Legibly read your client’s answers
- Print copies that are high in quality – (we made this form grey on purpose! Much easier on your printer)
Key Features of Our Trauma Worksheets:
- US letter size (8.5″ x 11″)
- Fillable / Printable
- Editable (If you need to make changes, we can provide you with a free editing website that will allow you to make changes to questions/statements)
- Longform responses
- Short form responses
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