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Image by Markus Winkler


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Trauma or Transformation?
Post Traumatic Growth and Resiliency

Father with his Son

Safer at Home

  • Physical distancing

  • Emotional distancing

  • Threat of infection and death

  • Economic distress

  • Not feeling valuable when we aren’t working

  • Overwork and danger for front-line and essential workers

  • Protests and Racism

The mental health impact of these conditions can be traumatic.

Prolonged Duress Stress Disorder PDSD

An anxiety disorder resulting from prolonged
exposure to stress
, such as severe work-related stress or continual bullying, with symptoms similar to those of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but without any specific trauma involving actual or threatened death or serious injury, as required for a diagnosis of PTSD.

Distanced Couple

"Our core sense of safety comes
from being connected to others."

- Bessel van der Kolk
Family at a Beach

Trauma by the Numbers

  • 70% - Percentage of American adults who have experienced a traumatic event, according to the Sidran Foundation, which provides traumatic-stress education and advocacy. Some 20% of these people eventually develop PTSD.

  • 16 million -  Number of Americans currently suffering from PTSD - 5% of the population.


  • 1 in 13 - Estimated number of Americans who will develop PTSD 
    during their lifetime - 8% of the population.

What will make this experience

  • Trauma Thinking – negative focus, half-empty, helplessness

  • Trauma Behaviors – obsessing, re-living, focusing on the negative news/media

  • Trauma Emotions – fear, grief, anger

Image by Ayo Ogunseinde
UWM School of Continuing Education

Patricia teaches the Trauma Counseling Certificate Program at UWMilwaukee and classes on trauma-informed care, post-traumatic growth, and resiliency. 

Click on the UWM logo above to learn more about the trauma programs.

“When something bad happens
you have three choices.
You can either let it define you,
let it destroy you,
or you can let it strengthen you.”

- Dr. Seuss
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