War and civil conflicts have always caused traumatic experiences in the history of mankind, the consequences of which, for example after the First World War, were labeled as "war neuroses" or “shell shock”.
Even today, most of the traumatic disorders worldwide remain untreated, despite the fact that there are now effective therapeutic methods available, which can only be applied with a high degree of organizational effort.
In addition to the psychological consequences of military violence, movements of forced migration are triggered by conflicts in many parts of the world and refugees usually end up in precarious and often temporary camps. The treatment of previous traumas in these groups faces completely new challenges, because without a simultaneous stabilization of the living conditions, a mental stabilization can be difficult to achieve.
The treatment of the consequences of interpersonal violence, in particular domestic violence and sexual abuse, is characterized by the fact that violence among people is a particularly serious cause of lasting traumas. Their treatment is associated with embarrassment and hampered by problematic cultural patterns. In addition, there is often a risk of repetition in these violent acts, which requires the therapists to have an accurate and good knowledge of the living circumstances of their clients. If necessary, other family members must be included in the therapy.
The consequences of natural disasters, even if their extent, such as the tsunami of 2004 in the Indian Ocean, overwhelm human imagination, take a comparatively milder course since most traumatic experiences are integrated by way of self-healing. In spite of this, a part of the population (about 15%) needs a good therapeutic treatment, mainly because of the often problematic posttraumatic life situations (fragmented families, economic needs) or due to previous stress.
Given the tremendously great needs of the world, and in spite of the massive difficulties which may arise in the course of treatment, the history of the Trauma treatment, where it has taken place in recent years, is an impressive success story. Through a culturally sensitive adaptation to different life situations modern treatment methods can also be applied with proven success where the local coping patterns are no longer sufficient. Sometimes the "imported" and the local methods can even be combined.