Va. Tech: Counselors Discuss Trauma Management

The short-term effects are invariably similar. Anyone connected-directly or indirectly–to the ghastly killings at Virginia Tech on Monday inevitably will be grieving in the days and weeks ahead. But what about the long-term impact of exposure to the massacre? In the past, trauma counselors believed everyone exposed to events like these were at high-risk for debilitating emotional problems. New research, however, suggests that most adults recover quite well and that only 10 to 20 percent of the population is at risk for severe or lasting problems like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).Whether it’s a school shooting, natural disaster, war or accident, most people respond to a horrible event with a combination of grief, surprise, anger or shock. “These emotions are completely normal,” says Lawrence H. Bergmann, a certified trauma specialist and founder of Post Trauma Resources in South Carolina. “They are appropriate responses, but they will go away in time.

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