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You are here: Home > Distressed Faculty & Staff > Specific Problems > The Tramatized Employee

The Tramatized Employee

Trauma is an individual response to a severe, startling, situation where emotional or physical well being is in jeopardy.  A crisis results when an individual, or group of individuals, find they cannot cope with a given situation.  In some instances trauma may be recurrent.  The employee who has been traumatized may be preoccupied, seem distant and/or be irritable, and experience flashbacks, nightmares, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.  Trauma is a normal and protective reaction to a life-threatening situation that has impaired the individual’s ability to cope.  



  • Respond with warmth and understanding.
  • Listen if the employee wants to tell you about what occurred.
  • Expect emotional intensity such as tears, anger when the employee tells what happened.
  • Recognize that response to trauma is expected and normal.
  • Recommend the employee seek counseling at EAP or elsewhere.
  • Advise that long-term effects of trauma are minimized by early intervention.



  • Minimize the impact that the trauma has on a person.  Don’t say: “That’s not a big deal you should see what happened to me.”
  • Avoid discussing the situation with the employee.
  • Touch or console the employee physically as in certain instances touch could re-traumatize the employee.
  • Assume the employee will get better only with time.
by sebenl99 — last modified Mar 25, 2013 11:37 AM