PTSD Timeline Worksheet

What is the theory behind this PTSD Timeline Worksheet?

Relational trauma or Relational PTSD is trauma caused by years of all sorts of abuse, enmeshment and neglect caused by a close relationship or a caregiver. Instead of one traumatic event, it is a culmination of repeated exposure to multiple negative events over time. One of the ways relational trauma is addressed in therapy is to help a client work through a trauma timeline. It is a way to put traumatic memories to paper and deal with them in the present.  

How will the worksheet help?

The worksheet will help provide a trauma timeline template that can be used by clients to fill in the traumatic events that they have gone through over the years. It will help them acknowledge their painful memories and their struggle through them over the years. It will also help the therapist categorise what needs to be addressed first. 

How to use the worksheet?

Instruct the clients to begin with their earliest memory. They can also write events that happened when they were too young to remember but could have contributed to their trauma.for e,g parental divorce. It does not have to fit a specific definition of trauma, it just has to be an event that they considered was painful.  Rate each memory from 1 – 10 to indicate how painful it feels as they re-experience it. 

PTSD Timeline Worksheet

Begin with your earliest trauma memory or any event that you know of that you consider could have contributed to your trauma for e.g a death in the family or parental divorce. Begin with the age of your earliest trauma memory/event till your current age.

 Mention any relevant details about the event. Rate the level of pain as you re-experience the event through your memory. Remember this is a working document, Whenever it gets too overwhelming it is OK to stop and continue later. 

AgeEventLevel of Pain 1 – 10


The Meadows (2018) The Trauma Timeline: A Journaling Exercise for Understanding the Impact of Relational Trauma.Retreived 18 November, 2022 from

You can download this worksheet here.

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