Trauma Webquest – The Process

The Trauma Recovery Webquest Process:

To start, we will use the Powerpoint,  Living With Trauma: Finding Recovery as the beginning scenario for this Webquest. It includes some video clips that show examples of childhood trauma and its effects. You can choose to watch the whole video if you want to on YouTube ReMoved video (12:47 minutes) or just the parts that are recommended in the Powerpoint.

Watch Powerpoint and videos >>>

  1. Write notes of some behaviors or symptoms the girl in the videos has.  What are some “triggers” she has for anxiety and behavior problems?
  2. Look at the website and complete the ACES Questionnaire for the girl in the video.  It is also recommended that you complete it for yourself, too, unless you are concerned about triggering your own trauma responses and do not currently have adequate support to cope. .
  3. Browse the variety of resources on as you consider how important it is to recognize the prevalence of past trauma in our communities.

Read about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 

  1. Write down and look up any new terminology you don’t already know.
  2. Read the Recovery Workbook Coping with Trauma and the Coping with Flashbacks Handout  Optional: Choose an additional coping skill to teach her from the Coping and Relaxation Workbook
  3. Click on  My Coping Plan  and pretend to fill it out as if you are the person who is needing care.  You may choose to use the child in the video as she grows into an adult, or one of the scenarios of adults with PTSD (below).
  4. Read Helping Someone with PTSD and write down some things you could do.
  5. Use the Trauma Discussion Worksheet as a guide.  Share your insight into coping and care for people with  trauma. Confidentially discuss any experiences of someone you know who had childhood, teen, or adult trauma, whether or not they had a diagnosis of PTSD. What helped them cope?
  6. Optional for students: Read PTSD Diagnostic Criteria.  Discuss how age could affect a PTSD diagnosis.
  7. Remember that calling or contacting 211 can help you find local community resources (if available), such as a counselor, support group, or needed services.
  8. Individually, or in groups of 2-4 people, choose one of the following  scenarios to work with for the rest of this Webquest:
  • 1.  Panic Attacks
  • As we were running away from the man who had threatened us, I felt that I was running for my life…   I went straight to bed when I got in, but was awoken suddenly by a major flashback from the night before. I was convinced that the man who I thought was going to kill me was in my bedroom – I could not breathe, my chest felt so tight, and my heart was racing. I was having a panic attack.The next morning I called work. I was hysterical.  I went to my GP, who was sympathetic and prescribed diazepam. I don’t think this really made me feel much better, but it helped me to relax and made sleeping much easier. I did not stay on the tablets for very long.In the following few weeks I felt hypervigilant (that is, highly aware of my surroundings and any slightest noise). It seemed like someone had turned up the volume in my head. I could not face going out of the house at first… I was very tearful, anxious and could not sleep very well. I was scared most of the time and paranoid. I felt like a little person in a very big world. I had no confidence and my self-esteem was very low… my whole life was turned upside down. ..Retrieved 7-2-20 from
  • 2.  Angry or Aggressive behavior
  • Jared’s symptoms involved out-of-control rage when startled, constant thoughts and memories of death-related events, weekly vivid nightmares of combat that caused trouble sleeping, anxiety and a loss of interest in hobbies he once enjoyed with friends.Although all of these symptoms were very distressing, Jared was most worried about his extreme anger. His “hair-trigger temper” caused fights with drivers who cut him off, cursing at strangers who stood too close in checkout lines, and shifts into “attack mode” when coworkers startled him by accident.In a recent visit to the doctor, he was drifting off to sleep in the exam table. A nurse brushed by his foot, and he leapt up, cursing and threatening her — scaring both the nurse and himself.Retrieved 7-2-20 from
  • 3.  Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • I had always known that I had been sexually abused. That knowledge had never left me. But the enormity of that knowledge and the constant pressure of having to maintain my silence had created a legacy within my body. Headaches, irritable bowel, back pain, gynaecological problems, an irrational fear of thunderstorms, startle reaction, and sleeplessness were all clear indicators that something was wrong… My body was crying out, saying that something was wrong…Suicidal thoughts intruded once again and it felt like the only recourse I had – to escape the constant barrage of flashbacks. My life was a mess. I was off work sick. My husband could only look on, helplessly, as I shriveled up before him, into the posture of a small child.Retrieved 7-2-20 from
  • 4.  Emotional numbing or dissociation
  • For months after this horrifying event, Maria was not herself. She was unable to keep the memories of the attack out of her mind. At night she would have terrible dreams of rape, and would wake up screaming. She had difficulty walking back from school because the route took her past the site of the attack, so she would have to go the long way home. She felt as though her emotions were numbed, and as though she had no real future. At home she was anxious, tense, and easily startled. She felt “dirty” and somehow shamed by the event, and she resolved not to tell close friends about the event, in case they too rejected her.Retrieved 7-2-19 from
  • 5.  Depression
  • After the crash I had mixed feelings; I would feel angry at the way the crash happened and that there was nothing I could do to stop it or help. I was physically exhausted, but was finding it hard to sleep. As soon as the bedroom light went out at night a light would come on in my head and all I could do was lie there and think. When I would eventually fall asleep, I would wake up with nightmares of the crash. I could not get away from it. It was all I could think about in the day and all I would dream about at night.I had to try and be strong for the kids, but when I would get a moment to myself, I would just break down and cry. I didn’t like feeling like this so I would just keep busy. Keeping on the move was stopping me getting upset, but was making me more run down. I wanted things back to normal; seeing my wife and son in pain every day was driving me mad …Retrieved 7-2-20 from
  • 6.  Withdrawal/Isolation
  • Joe saw a good deal of active combat during his time in the military. Some incidents in particular had never left his mind …. Even when he returned to civilian life, these images haunted him. Scenes from battle would run repeatedly through his mind and disrupt his focus on work.Filing up at the gas station, for example, the smell of diesel immediately rekindled certain horrific memories. At other times, he had difficulty remembering the past — as if some events were too painful to allow back in his mind. He found himself avoiding socializing with old military buddies, as this would inevitably trigger a new round of memories.His girlfriend complained that he was always pent-up and irritable – as if he were on guard, and Joe noticed that at night he had difficulty relaxing and falling asleep. When he heard loud noises, such as a truck back-firing he literally jumped, as if he were readying himself for combat. He began to drink heavily.Retrieved 7-2-19 from

9.   Using your chosen scenario,  follow the Trauma Discussion Worksheet.

10. For more insight, use the website resources

11.  Review the Recovery Education resources (below) and find the ones that seem the most most helpful for patient education.

Explore and choose some Recovery Education handouts or workbooks that are available to use:

Coping with Flashbacks Coping with Trauma Workbook
Coping: How to be Grounded Managing Depression Workbook ManagingDepressionWorkbook
Coping with Thoughts of Self-harm Managing Mental Illness Workbook
Coping with Dissociation Coping and Relaxation Workbook
Exploring Resilience Managing Addiction Workbook findingyourwaytomanageaddiction
Coping Statements Managing Anger Workbook 

12.  Write a summary of your insight, your plan and what you have learned. Students should share a detailed post in print or online with their instructor, or record a video to summarize the group’s discussion and plans for care.

13.   Read the Conclusion/Discussion on the Webquest Home page.

14.  Lastly, watch the Powerpoint below and use the Webquest Discussion Guide to comment on each recovery concept presented:

Watch the video “Shift to Trauma Informed Care”  >>>


Optional: More assignments and discussion for students:

  1. Find an appropriate/valuable research article about PTSD or coping with trauma from a scholarly journal and post a summary online, along with its link.   Nursing students should find Nursing Research.
  2. When you choose a case scenario, confirm with your instructor which case scenario (below) you will be doing.  If another group has already chosen the one you want to do, you may be reassigned to another scenario.

Optional assignments for nursing students:

  1. Create an individualized care plan for your patient’s scenario.  Use Nursing Care Plan Worksheet Use Nursing Care Plan Worksheet [.doc] [.pdf]. Write at least one psychosocial nursing diagnosis. (there is room for 2 on the form). You will need a specific, measurable, realistic, and timed objective for a short-term and a long-term goal.  Include at least two interventions, some rationale, and describe how you would evaluate them.


Trauma Webquest: Home


Updated 8-27-20