I recently took on several new clients and am on my 3rd session with several new people, I'm struck by how much temperment affects people's experience of trauma. Some people have iron constitutions. It's hard to scare these people. It takes a truly life-threatening trauma for them to experience PTSD symptoms.
Others are traumatized by a harsh look, a trauma once-removed, or an unmet expectation. These folks, often with anxiety diagnoses, need more trauma processing sessions, more containment, and more reassurance than the other kinds. I can take all the factors I know into account: attachment history, prior trauma, culture, etc., and temperment stands out as one of the strongest predictors of posttraumatic symptoms. I wonder why it's so little researched and so rarely discussed. Elaine Aron's The Highly Sensitive Person, speaks to this issue. Is there anything else out there?
If any of my readers know of research or resources about the effect of temperment on the experience of trauma, please leave me a comment. According to the stats there are 100's of you lurking on this site. Please speak up!