Psychological Trauma

Psychological trauma describes a severe and lasting emotional pain or shock due to a severely upsetting experience. It can be a result of both, physical and psychological violence and is often referred to as “mental injury”. Affected individuals are not able to process the damaging experience or to cope with it.

Among traumatizing events are serious accidents, natural disasters, or illnesses as well as experiences of psychological, physical, and sexual violence, but also loss or neglect.  Such severe experiences can cause deep wounds in the soul and affect a person for a lifetime and can often manifest in psychosomatic conditions. Just like physical injuries, psychological trauma will take time to heal.

Ulm University – a Leading Hub for Psychological Trauma Research

Ulm University is a centre for the study of psychological trauma. DareHub participants are well-known for their work in child abuse and the inheritance of traumatic experiences by epigenetics. Members study mental disorders in refugees and asylum seekers. We also focus on molecular mechanisms of pysychological trauma and how it affects for example bone healing after fracture. Of note, researchers at Ulm University are also involved in the development of e-health programs to support e.g. patients with mental disorders.

Research Groups


Prof. Dr.
Vera Clemens

  • Group Leader “Trauma consequences”
  • Department for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychotherapy Ulm University Hospital