Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives. Psychologists can help these individuals find constructive ways of managing their emotions.
Adapted from the APA Help Center article, "Recovering emotionally from disaster."
After Traumatic Events
Talking to your children about the recent spate of school shootings
Every child will respond to trauma differently. Some will have no ill effects; others may suffer an immediate and acute effect. Still others may not show signs of stress until sometime after the event.
Recovering emotionally from disaster
Understanding the emotions and normal responses that follow a disaster or other traumatic event can help you cope with your feelings, thoughts and behaviors – and can help you on the path to recovery.
Open Up! Writing About Trauma Reduces Stress, Aids Immunity
Writing about difficult, even traumatic, experiences appears to be good for health on several levels - raising immunity and other health measures and improving life functioning.
Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting
As a parent, you may be struggling with how to talk with your children about a shooting.
Related APA Publications
A year after escaping Boko Haram, girls share their story
April 13, 2015, The Washington Post
APA Offices and Programs
Working Group Report on Child Maltreatment Prevention in Community Health Centers
This APA report recommends strategies for preventing maltreatment and promoting positive parenting practices.
Children and trauma: Report of the Task Force on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma in Children and Adolescents
The Task Force on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma in Children and Adolescents identified “what we know” and “what we need to know” regarding the development and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in youth.