Trauma Informed Care at the PCC

Trauma-focused treatment at the PCC involves a careful and collaborative process of assessment and planning by the PCC clinician when working with students who have had exposure to traumatic events, with the goal of determining each individual student’s needs. Exposure to traumatic events can impact individuals to varying degrees, therefore, the PCC aims to support students who have had exposure to traumatic events and determine short-term as well as long-term needs for psychological care. Based on clinician availability, students may also be referred to EMDR or time-limited exposure-based therapies, which are among the several effective treatments when dealing with trauma. The model of care at the PCC for trauma exposure is based on guidelines set by the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Long-term care may include referrals to other campus resources or community professionals or a referral to group services at the PCC such as the seeking safety support group.

Examples of traumatic events include (but not limited to):

  • Sexual assault (includes rape, sexual harassment, stalking, relationship violence)
  • Accidents
  • Being told you have a life-threatening illness
  • Violent personal assault, such as a physical attack, robbery, or mugging
  • Military combat
  • Natural or man-made disasters
  • Terrorist attack
  • Losing a loved one/bereavement

The immediate impact of events like these can be long lasting if the survivor does not receive effective support to regain stability and safety. PCC clinicians can assist students in providing a safe space and support with the personal impact of these events, some of which may include:

  • Recurring nightmares and/or memories of the event
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increase in anxiety or depressed mood
  • Relationship or academic difficulties 

All staff members at the PCC are trained in working with trauma and related concerns.  To address coping with acute or single incident traumas, the Psychological & Counseling Center has a core team of trained professionals-- the Acute Care Team (ACT), to provide psychological care for students after exposure to a traumatic event. The acute care team is designed as a brief model of care as the benefits of supportive and targeted skills-based interventions following a traumatic event can lead to an increase in an individual’s

If you would like to meet with a therapist because of a recent traumatic event or trigger, call 615-322-2571 and ask for an ACT appointment.



Medical/Psychological Treatment:

Student Health Center 322-2427

VU Emergency Department 322-0160

Support and Advocacy Resources:

Vanderbilt Project Safe 322-SAFE (7233)

Vanderbilt University Police Department- Victim Services- 322-7846

Confidential Resources:

Psychological and Counseling Center 322-2571

Student Health Center 322-2427

Office of the University Chaplain & Religious Life 322-2457

To File a Report:

VUPD Emergency - 911 or 421-1911; Non-Emergency - 322-2745

VU Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services (EAD) 322-4705

VU Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, & Academic Integrity 322-7868



Nashville Sexual Assault Center Crisis Line (800) 879-1999/(615) 256-8526

YWCA Crisis and Information Line (800) 334-4628/ (615) 242-1199

National Center for Victims of Crime Stalking Resource Center

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 

SAMHSA Tips for Survivors: Coping with grief after community violence fact sheet