Traumatic life events are part of human experience.
They often produce strong, painful emotional reactions and significant personal change and growth. The events and individual survivor reactions affect many. There is trau- matic impact from merely hearing about hurtful events.
The points presented here are based on clinical practice (listening to and attempting to help and understand indi- vidual reactions to traumas) and the extensive body of em- pirical research on worldwide events involving violence, natural disaster, and accidents and personal loss. This is a brief introduction to some of the important ideas in trau- ma studies. It is meant to be a starting point to further study and a convenient and condensed source of helpful ideas for those experiencing a traumatic reaction and those observ- ing others reacting. The variability in outcomes from trau- matic experiences is great. This is a minimum tool not able to do all that is necessary for all survivors. It can however be very helpful for some.