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Reactions To Trauma

Traumatic events are shocking and it is normal to feel overwhelmed. Not everybody reacts in the same way though and there is no ‘right’ way to respond. This client information handout describes common reactions to trauma and includes helpful advice for loved ones.

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Professional version

A PDF of the resource, theoretical background, suggested therapist questions and prompts.

Client version

A PDF of the resource plus client-friendly instructions where appropriate.

Editable version (PPT)

An editable Microsoft PowerPoint version of the resource.

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Languages this resource is available in

  • Albanian
  • Amharic
  • Arabic
  • Bengali
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • English (GB)
  • English (US)
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Gujarati
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Kurdish (Sorani)
  • Latvian
  • Marathi
  • Oromo
  • Pashto
  • Persian (Dari)
  • Persian (Farsi)
  • Polish
  • Portuguese (European)
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Spanish (Dominican Republic)
  • Spanish (International)
  • Swahili
  • Tamil
  • Tigrinya
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Welsh

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Introduction & Theoretical Background

Traumas are by their nature distressing, and post-traumatic reactions of shock and distress are normal. Most people recover naturally, helped by adequate social support. Reactions To Trauma is an information handout designed for survivors of traumatic events. It includes essential information about trauma and lists common post-traumatic reactions. It also includes advice on helping a friend or loved one who has been through a trauma.

Therapist Guidance

This is a Psychology Tools information handout. Suggested uses include:
  • Client handout - use as a psychoeducation resource
  • Discussion point - use to provoke a discussion and explore client beliefs
  • Therapist learning tool - improve your familiarity with a psychological construct
  • Teaching resource - use as a learning tool during training