Trauma Informed Care at the PCC


Exposure to traumatic events can impact individuals to varying degrees, therefore, the PCC clinicians work with students who have had exposure to traumatic events and determine brief counseling and treatment options that can enhance students’ ability to cope effectively with traumatic events.

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 coping and quality of life.

If you would like to meet with a therapist because of a recent traumatic event, schedule an online appointment and ask for an ACT appointment. You can also call the PCC directly at 615-322-2571 and ask to meet with a therapist from the ACT team.


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 for students impacted by trauma may include referrals to other campus resources or community professionals. 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

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

Sexual Assault Center Nashville 615-259-9055: Nashville office; 1-800-879-1999: 24 hour crisis and support line

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