Working with Chronic, Ongoing Trauma

Most trauma recovery interventions assume that the traumatic experience of a client is now over. But what of the person who continues to remain in a traumatic environment (e.g., soldiers at war, civilians caught between warring parties)? Dr. Diane Langberg suggests that asking a person to engage vulnerable self-revelation in the midst of such trauma would be like asking a person to disrobe while out in a blizzard.

Watch this video of Dr. Langberg as she explores the experience of chronic, ongoing trauma and suggests a variety of helpful responses from counselors and caregivers. This presentation was filmed by the American Bible Society at their 2013 Community of Practice held in Philadelphia. For more trauma recovery resources from ABS, click this link.


  1. I await the day when the DSM has a category for Continuing Traumatic Stress Disorder. Thanks for this video, Diane

  2. Rebecca W says:

    Trauma Researcher Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and his team tried to get a diagnosis of Developmental Trauma Disorder in the DSM-V. It would have included ongoing traumatic stress conditions (complex trauma?)

    lt also sounds like they feel many disorders are rooted in trauma and this would be a more inclusive diagnosis leading to better treatment.

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