Become a Member
Interactive Tools
Filter by Demographic
Children Adolescents Adults
Filter by Topic
Anger Anxiety Art CBT Communication DBT Depression Education Emotions Goals Grief Parenting and Behavior Positive Psychology Relationships Relaxation Self-Esteem Stress Substance Use Values

What is Trauma?

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. The causal event may have occurred a week ago, or half a century in the past.

To help survivors of trauma make sense of what they're experiencing, psychoeducation is a natural place to begin. Psychoeducation can help by normalizing the experience of trauma, and by giving a name to the enemy. It can help your clients build the confidence they need to know they can get better.

Our What is Trauma? info sheet offers a basic overview of trauma, including a definition, information about risk factors, symptoms, and common treatments. This printout was designed to be used with new clients and their families as an introduction to trauma.

Standard Download

Download Free Worksheet
Alternate languages: Spanish
Premium Download
What is Trauma? Preview


1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.

loading animation