Jennifer Sweeton, Psy.D.

Here’s Your Brain on Trauma

An inside look at the traumatized brain, and how you can start to heal.

Posted Mar 13, 2017




  • Trauma and the Brain

  • The Brain and Trauma – Animation Segment

  • The effect of trauma on the brain and how it affects behaviors | John Rigg | TEDxAugusta


  1. Although past experiences wire our brains in some ways, future experiences can change the way our brains are wired. Which quality of the brain enables these changes to happen?
  2. Weakness of the PFC in the brain will result in weakness in;
    • …………………
    • .………………..
    • …………………
  3. Imagine that you are having a really bad day and while waiting for the autobus someone you don`t like comes to you and talks about something irrelevant on and on. Which part of the brain discourages you from telling her to leave you alone?
  4. The amygdala works consciously/subconsciously/unconsciously and arousal of this part evokes the feeling of ……………. .
  5. First, define what makes a part of the brain cortical or sub-cortical and then, complete the table with correct brain parts.
Sub-cortical Areas Cortical Areas



  1. Define the characteristics of a traumatized brain in your own words.


  1. Mark the statements as TRUE (T) or FALSE (F)
    • A traumatized brain can never be healed and will always carry some symptoms.
    • The first step towards recovery is de-activating the amygdala.
    • A person should practice therapy sessions for long periods and once a day.



  1. Plasticity of the brain makes it possible to change the wiring of the brain.
  2. Weakness of the PFC in the brain will result in weakness in;
    • Thinking
    • Decision making
    • Awareness of ourselves and others
    • Problem-solving
    • Empathy
    • Planning
    • Personality
  3. The Emotion Regulation Center
  4. Unconsciously / fear.
  5. Sub-cortical areas control more primitive functions in the brain while cortical areas are responsible for more complex tasks.
Sub-cortical Areas Cortical Areas
The Amygdala (The Fear Center) PFC (The Thinking Center)

ACC (The Emotion Regulation Center)
  1. In a traumatized brain, the Fear Center is overactive and a traumatized person may experience chronic stress and fear. On the other hand, cortical areas of the brain are under-activated and the person cannot think clearly and regulate his/her behaviors.
  2. F, T, F

Post-reading Activity:

  • How to Heal from Trauma – Childhood Trauma, PTSD, Emotional Abuse, etc.

  • Healing From Trauma, Part 2: How Can I Heal?

Writing Task: As you are familiar with the issue, you can provide some solutions for the problem. The videos above will be giving you some ideas about the process of recovery from the trauma. Now, try to write an essay discussing possible ways of recovering from trauma. You can use the following points;

  1. Having physical and mental therapies
  2. Facing the cause of the trauma with controlled consciousness
  3. Seeking mental aid from professionals.

YADYOK Assistant
Sinan Çakmak