Coping with trauma

Many people will experience or witness at least one traumatic event in their life (for example, serious injury, violent interactions, natural disasters or other life-threatening situations). We may also be close to others who experience a traumatic event and require our support.

Reactions to trauma

In the days and weeks following, most people involved experience strong feelings which can include helplessness, shock, fear, sadness, numbness, guilt and anger.

These experiences may also change previously held beliefs and core values about one’s self. A survivor may feel they have lost a sense of meaning and purpose, experience feelings of abandonment, and a loss of trust in their personal security, community and environment.

How to get help

Most people exposed to a traumatic event recover with the support of family and close friends, and do not require professional assistance.

Survivors move through the recovery process in their own individual ways. Their age, coping strategies, previous life experiences and the availability of culturally appropriate support and understanding all play a role as they try to make sense of what has happened to them.

One can also benefit from seeking support from professional services such as Counselling and Psychological Services.

External links and resources

  1. Disaster Assist
  2. Road Trauma Support Services
  3. Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault
  4. Phoenix Australia: Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health

If you'd like more support, come along to one of our workshops or make an appointment for individual counselling.

Explore student workshops

Make a counselling appointment