Workplace Trauma

Workers who encounter or witness an abnormal or shocking critical incident or traumatic event can go into shock and/or experience stress and trauma.

Examples of critical and traumatic incidents can include:

  • Death of a co-worker, either in the line-of-duty or other workplace incident
  • Serious or life-threatening accident/injury to you or co-workers in the line of duty or other workplace incident
  • A near miss that threatens the health and safety of you or your co-workers
  • Suicide of a co-worker
  • Sudden death of a co-worker – not related to work
  • Loss of a patient after rescue attempts
  • Death of a child or critical incident involving children
  • Violence inflicted on you or a co-worker
  • Violent crime in or near the workplace
  • Events with excessive media interest
  • Natural disasters that affect your work

Work-related critical incidents can involve your employees or co-workers, other individuals from your organization, or someone related to them, and can occur in the workplace, at a work function, or even outside of the formal work setting. Certain occupations such as paramedics, fire fighters, police officers, security guards, and health care workers are also more readily exposed to traumatic incidents due to the nature of their work. Other critical incidents may involve individuals in your life that are not related to your work, for example, teammates from your sports club, classmates from your school, members of your community, etc.

Symptoms & signs of workplace trauma

Emotional symptoms

  • Shock, denial, confusion
  • Lack of self-worth
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Inability to complete normal daily functions
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Heightened anxiety about visiting the workplace

Physical symptoms

  • Sleeplessness
  • Sleeping too much
  • Lack of energy
  • Nightmares of the workplace incident
  • Memory issues
  • Aches and pains
  • Tense muscles

When is it time to get help?

If you’ve witnessed, endured, or are made aware of a traumatic incident, you may experience many of the above symptoms.  You may feel as though you have a loss of control over your work environment or your life. Some symptoms show up immediately while others will develop over time. As a traumatized employee, you could become overwhelmed and unable to cope with daily activities. In turn, your concentration, engagement, relationships, performance, and attendance at work could seriously suffer. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s time to seek help.

Workplace related trauma treatment methods

There are several treatment methods that are effective when treating workplace trauma. Your therapist will talk with you to determine the best treatment method. These may include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an approach that works to help the brain process information, memories, sounds, and feelings in a way that makes them be seen in a new and less distressing way.
  • Narrative therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses narratives and/or client’s personal stories to help people separate themselves from their problems, believing that the person isn’t the problem; the problem is the problem.
  • Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is an effective, research-backed, non-invasive process in which a focused magnetic field stimulates under-active brain cells, activates them to work more efficiently and transforms lives through symptom reduction. rTMS can be particularly effective when used to treat severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, OCD, chronic pain, migraines, post concussion symptoms, and burnout that has not fully responded to conventional treatments (medication/therapy).

What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?

Not only do we have trained specialists to help you emotionally overcome the trauma you have faced in the workplace, Insight Corporate Care also offers Critical Incident Response. We offer:

Group debriefing and support

Critical incident debriefing sessions for groups and individuals within 24 to 72 hours after a traumatic event to work through the emotional impact of the incident.

Individual therapy and support

Individual therapy and support to strengthen resilience, develop coping and rebuilding strategies, and enhance recovery for employees who have been affected by a critical/traumatic incident.


Training for managers and on-site first responders on effective critical incident response and support for affected parties.

Our people, your advantage

Our trauma and critical incident response team is made up of experienced trauma-informed psychologists, trauma specialists, and critical incident response specialists. They can be on or off the worksite or another designated site to support your people through such intensely difficult periods.

For service and support contact Insight Psychological or Insight Corporate today.


Brooke Hendricks

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Assessments

Loriann Quinlan

Edmonton South, Edmonton West, Online

Adults, Seniors

Terri Mulveney

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Children (3-5), Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), LGBTQ community

Brandi Enns

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality, Assessments

Sabrina Brady

Edmonton Central, Edmonton North, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality, Assessments

Karla Buchholz

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality

Nikesha Deenoo

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Sexuality

Nicole Donovan

Edmonton South, Online, Sherwood Park

Adults, Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17)

Kathryn Maier

Edmonton North, Online

Adults, Children (3-5), Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Families, Assessments

Cody Cobler

Edmonton North, Online

Adults, Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Families, LGBTQ community

Dawn Doucet Banting

Edmonton South, Online

Adults, Children (3-5), Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community

Chantelle Owen

Edmonton South, Edmonton Central, Online, Edmonton West

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality

Luke Suelzle

Edmonton South, Online, Edmonton Central

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Families, Couples, Sexuality

Kim Phua

Edmonton North, Online

Adults, Adolescents (13-17), Seniors, Families, Couples, LGBTQ community, Sexuality, Assessments

Brilene Wohlgemuth

Edmonton South, Sherwood Park, Online

Adults, Children & Youth (6-12), Adolescents (13-17), Families, LGBTQ community, Assessments

Dr. Hendriatta Wong

Corporate Services

Shirley Leonard

Corporate Services

Shaheel Hooda

Corporate Services

Lisa Standeven

Corporate Services

Tara-Lee Goerlitz

Corporate Services

At this time, Insight Psychological does not have therapists who specialize in this specific area, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help you! Please contact us to talk with our Intake Personnel to find a therapist that is a good fit for you and your unique circumstances.