Guide to Developing the Traumatic Timeline
As part of treatment, we ask that you complete a traumatic timeline. Place all shocks in a chronological order starting either from conception/birth, or from the present and working your way back in time. For example:
- 2002: fall requiring stitches, freezing
- 2000: emotional – move to Ottawa – sadness, anxiety
- 1997: vaccination for travel – Hep B, Yellow Fever (vaccine reaction, illness) etc.
The following types of events should be considered as possible shocks or traumas.
- Pre-birth: any drugs, alcohol, smoking or severe illnesses in mother (particularly of a viral nature); also consider any emotional shocks to mother during pregnancy or in mother/father at time of conception (see section on emotional traumas below); ultrasound or other invasive testing.
- Birth: Mother had difficult labour; forceps used; use of anaesthetics on mother; late breathing or other possible oxygen deprivation
- Vaccinations: Dates, if possible of first vaccination of each kind received (can ignore booster shots)
- Accidents: car accidents, falls, blows to head, concussions, broken bones, animal bites
- Surgical interventions: e.g., tonsils, appendix, adenoids, dental, abdominal (including Caesarean sections), circumcision, vasectomy, hysterectomy
- Drug Use: antibiotics, anti-depressants, recreational drugs etc.
- Hormones: birth control pill, hormone replacement therapy, IVF, etc.
- Severe Infections: e.g., Lyme disease, mononucleosis, Epstein-Barr, measles, chicken pox, mumps, TB, pneumonia, etc.
- Electrical Shocks (including medical treatment)
- Traumas involving loss, abandonment, grief, betrayal (e.g., death, loss of trust, relationship break-ups, loss of independence, job loss)
- Traumas involving great fear/anxiety, stress
- Traumas involving anger and indignation/humiliation (particularly where the emotion was suppressed/“swallowed”), guilt (mostly that someone tries to put on you)
- Feelings of envy or jealousy, or guilt that you put on yourself, self-blame, shame
- Traumas involving abuse, whether mental, emotional or sexual
NB: Some emotional traumas can involve a combination of emotions.