The "Trauma Coping Inventory" and The "Trauma Coping Resource Inventory"
by Michael R. Tramonte, Ed.D., NCSP

COPING WITH TRAUMATIC LOSS -
THE TRAUMA COPING SCREENING INVENTORY

In reacting to a traumatic experience as a survivor or as a co-victim, how did you cope? Or, if you were not a survivor or co-victim but helped others, how did you cope (i.e., any secondary traumatization)? Read each of the following characteristics and put a check mark under “Yes” if it applied to you and “No” if it did not. The information is cited from Pearlman and Saakvitne (1995), from Rando (1988), from the DSM-IV-TR (2000), from other books and research articles, and from this certified school psychologist’s professional experiences. The workshop presenter also added some characteristics to the partial and overlapping lists (lists that are only guides and are still evolving) as well as selected and organized the information into the following question format:

HOW I COPED COGNITIVELY

Yes __/ __No

o Changed assumptions about the self & world _________ _________
o Searching for meaning _________ _________
o Distrustful _________ _________
o Loss of safety _________ _________
o Lessened power or control _________ _________
o Loss of Independence _________ _________
o Impaired attention or concentration _________ _________
o Changes in perception or thinking _________ _________
o Short or long-term memory changes _________ _________
o Impaired decision-making ability _________ _________
o Lessened problem-solving ability _________ _________
o Self-blame _________ _________
o Flashbacks _________ _________
o Nightmares or night terrors _________ _________
o Dissociation (“spacey” feeling) _________ _________
o Lowered self-efficacy _________ _________
o Confusion _________ _________
o Worry _________ _________
o Experienced a threat of or a trauma event _________ _________
o Witnessed a trauma _________ _________
o Learned about a trauma of a loved one _________ _________
o Fear of reoccurrence of the trauma _________ _________
o Re-experiencing the traumatic event _________ _________
o Other _________ _________

HOW I COPED EMOTIONALLY

Yes __/ __No

o Internalized the stress (i.e., depression, despair) _________ _________
o Externalized the stress (i.e. aggression)_________ _________
o Fear and anxiety_________ _________
o Guilt_________ _________
o Blame_________ _________
o Anger _________ _________
o Sadness _________ _________
o Loss of faith._________ _________
o Decreased self-esteem_________ _________
o Illegitimate, legitimate and/or survivor guilt _________ _________
o Separation pain, sorrow, and longin. _________ _________
o Disorganization _________ _________
o Diminished self-concern_________ _________
o Obsession with the trauma_________ _________
o Sense of vulnerability _________ _________
o Identification. _________ _________
o Grief spasms _________ _________
o Shock_________ _________
o Terror ________ _________
o Irritability_________ _________
o Emotional numbing _________ _________
o Helplessness _________ _________
o Loss of interest in familiar activities _________ _________
o Avoidance _________ _________
o Other _________ _________

HOW I COPED SOCIALLY
(INTERPERSONALLY)

Yes __/ __No

o Restlessness _________ _________
o Little or no interest in usual activities _________ _________
o Lack of energy and motivation _________ _________
o Bored or impatient with others _________ _________
o Withdrawal from others _________ _________
o Blocked intimacy feelings _________ _________
o Decreased satisfaction _________ _________
o Preoccupied with one’s grief _________ _________
o Fearful about being alone _________ _________
o Related to others to avoid thinking of the deceased _________ _________
o Distrustful of others _________ _________
o Increased relational conflict _________ _________
o Reduced relational intimacy _________ _________
o Alienation _________ _________
o Impaired work performance _________ _________
o Impaired school performance _________ _________
o Blaming others _________ _________
o Other _________ _________


HOW I COPED PHYSICALLY

Yes __/ __No

o Fought, fled, or froze _________ _________
o Fatigue, exhaustion _________ _________
o Apathy _________ _________
o Lethargy _________ _________
o Sleep difficulties _________ _________
o Tearfulness and crying _________ _________
o Weight loss or weight gain _________ _________
o Teeth grinding _________ _________
o Nail-biting _________ _________
o Feeling that something was stuck in your throat _________ _________
o Heart palpitations, trembling, shaking _________ _________
o Shortness of breath _________ _________
o Dizziness _________ _________
o Unsteady feelings _________ _________
o Chest pain, pressure, or discomfort _________ _________
o Headaches _________ _________
o Exaggerated startle response _________ _________
o Persistent distressful dreams _________ _________
o Hyperarousal _________ _________
o Persistent distressful dreams _________ _________
o Nightmares or night terrors _________ _________
o Exaggerated startle response _________ _________
o Reduced immune response _________ _________
o Numbing of responsiveness _________ _________
o Vulnerability to illness _________ _________
o Other _________ _________

HOW I COPED BEHAVIORALLY

Yes_ _/ __No

o Avoidance _________ _________
o Social Withdrawal _________ _________
o Decreased intimacy and lowered trust in others _________ _________
o Aggression _________ _________
o Substance use, dependence, or abuse _________ _________
o Regression _________ _________
o Diminished interests _________ _________
o Dysfunctional behavior _________ _________
o Eating less or more _________ _________
o Sleep problems _________ _________
o Behavioral change _________ _________
o Other _________ _________

HOW I COPED SPIRITUALLY

Yes __/ __No

o With no spiritual support _________ _________
o God had nothing to do with it _________ _________
o Lost faith in religion _________ _________
o Angry at God or other deity or religion founder _________ _________
o Blamed God or other deity or religion founder _________ _________
o God will be with me no matter what happens _________ _________
o With Psalm 23, “The Lord Is My Shepard”
o With “The Serenity Prayer” _________ _________
o God never allows anything to happen that is more
than I can handle _________ _________
o God loves me. He has given me this “cross to
bear for him” _________ _________
o God works in a mysterious way. The trauma is a
blessing in disguise _________ _________
o I believe the trauma was sent by God but
I don’t know what the purpose was _________ _________
o God is testing me
o The trauma was given to me as a punishment for
something I did _________ _________


SUMMARY MY COPING STYLES:
DIRECTIONS:
Return to each of the six areas and list your coping mechanisms under each appropriate title. Once you complete that, you will gain more insight into your trauma coping style(s) and into any needed changes for the present and for the future.

o MY COGNITIVE COPING STYLE

o MY EMOTIONAL COPING STYLE

o MY SOCIAL (INTERPERSONAL) COPING STYLE

o MY PHYSICAL COPING STYLE

o MY BEHAVIORAL COPING STYLE

o MY SPIRITUAL COPING STYLE

 

INNER AND OUTER COPING RESOURCES -
THE TRAUMA COPING RESOURCES’ SCREENING INVENTORY

In reacting to a traumatic experience as a survivor or as a co-victim, how did you use resources to cope? Or if you were not a survivor or co-victim but helped others, how did you use strategies to cope? Read each of the following resources and respond in two ways: (1) First, insert a check mark under “Yes” if the resource were a support for you, and “No” if it were not and continue until the six categories are completed; and (2) then, return to the beginning, and put a check mark under “Future” next to each specific resource(s) that you hope to use in the future. The enclosed information is cited from Rothschild (2000), from Drescher & Foy (1995), from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (retrieved February 2003), from other books and research articles, and from this certified school psychologist’s professional experiences. Also, the workshop presenter added some strategies to the partial and overlapping lists (lists that are only guides and still evolving) as well as selected and organized the information into the following format:

Yes _/ __No _/ _Future

o Functional/practical resources
shelter ______ ______ ______
food/nourishment ______ ______ ______
water ______ ______ ______
clothing ______ ______ ______
sleep ______ ______ ______
communication with loved ones ______ ______ ______

o Physical resources
health ______ ______ ______
physical strength and agility ______ ______ ______
exercise ______ ______ ______
body awareness ______ ______ ______
somatic memory ______ ______ ______
body psychotherapy ______ ______ ______
medication ______ ______ ______

o Psychological resources
high, intelligence ______ ______ ______
sense of humor ______ ______ ______
curiosity ______ ______ ______
creativity ______ ______ ______
resiliency ______ ______ ______
relief at surviving the tragedy ______ ______ ______
greater self-worth ______ ______ ______
changes in viewing the future ______ ______ ______
feelings of ‘growing’ from the experience ______ ______ ______
dual awareness ______ ______ ______
“telling your story” ______ ______ ______
calming images (attentive oasis activities
such as a new hobby) ______ ______ ______
concrete anchors such as a person, animal,
safe place, object, or activity ______ ______ ______
verbal psychotherapy ______ ______ ______
debriefings ______ ______ ______
active coping style ______ ______ ______
mental health ______ ______ ______
good self-regulation of emotion ______ ______ ______
appealing and sociable ______ ______ ______
positive self-efficacy ______ ______ ______
positive self-confidence ______ ______ ______
positive self-esteem ______ ______ ______
internal locus of control ______ ______ ______
task-oriented ______ ______ ______

o Interpersonal (social) resources
spouse or partner ______ ______ ______
living with family member ______ ______ ______
extended family relations/guidance ______ ______ ______
connections with other family members friends, pets ______ ______ ______
recollections of significant people from the past ______ ______ ______
making contact with love ones ______ ______ ______
access to positive role models ______ ______ ______
connection with pro-social institutions ______ ______ ______
altruism (helping and comforting others) ______ ______ ______
participating in cultural beliefs and rituals ______ ______ ______

o Spiritual resources
belief in a higher power ______ ______ ______
following a religious figure ______ ______ ______
adherence to religious practice ______ ______ ______
regaining a sense of faith, hope, purpose and meaning ______ ______ ______
spiritual autobiographies ______ ______ ______
meditation ______ ______ ______
prayer ______ ______ ______
guided imagery ______ ______ ______
yoga ______ ______ ______
involvement in religious rituals ______ ______ ______
mind-body disciplines ______ ______ ______
service to others ______ ______ ______
community spirit ______ ______ ______
communing with nature ______ ______ ______
discussion of the key theological and
existential issues ______ ______ ______
reading spiritual literature, i.e. Bible ______ ______ ______
joining others in a “spiritual fellowship” ______ ______ ______
forgiving self and others ______ ______ ______

o Other resources

______ ______ ______
______ ______ ______
______ ______ ______
______ ______ ______
______ _____ ______
______ ______ ______

SUMMARY OF MY COPING RESOURCES:
DIRECTIONS:
Return to each of the six areas and list your coping mechanisms under each appropriate title. Once you complete that, you will gain more insight into your trauma coping resources and into any needed changes for the present and for the future.

o MY FUNCTIONAL/PRACTICAL RESOURCES

o MY PHYSICAL RESOURCES

o MY PSYCHOLOGICAL RESOURCES

o MY INTERPERSONAL SOCIAL RESOURCES

o MY SPIRITUAL RESOURCES

o MY OTHER RESOURCES

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS’ CONVENTION
Atlanta, Georgia
March 30, 2005

The “Trauma Coping Inventory” and
The “Trauma Coping Resource Inventory”

by Michael R. Tramonte, Ed.D., NCSP
Associate Professor in Education
Rivier College
Nashua, New Hampshire 03060
(603) 897-8487 (Direct)
(603) 888-1311 #8487 (Switchboard)
e-mail (mtramonte@rivier.edu)
fax-(603) 897-8887

and

Adjunct Instructor in Psychology
Middlesex Community College
Bedford, Massachusetts 01730

and

Retired School Psychologist
Lowell Public Schools
Lowell, Massachusetts 01852

REFERENCES

The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine Web site (retrieved
February 26, 2003). Coping with trauma. http://www.acoem.org

American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders
(4th ed.). Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.

Drescher, K. D. & Foy, D. W. (1995). NCP Clinical Quarterly 5 (1)

Pearlman, L. A. and Saakvitne, K. W. (1995). Trauma and the therapist:
Countertransference and vicarious traumatization in psychotherapy with incest
survivors. New York: W. W. Norton.

Rando, T. A. (1988). How to go on living when someone you love dies. New York:
Bantam.

Rothschild, B. (2000). The body remembers: The psychobiology of trauma and trauma
treatment.
New York: W. W. Norton.