The Traumatic Impact of Terrorist Attacks

The world’s security mechanisms have been challenged by some terrorist attacks from organized criminal groups; an act of terrorism causes trauma on affected people. September 11, 2001, the United States terrorist attack remains as one of the most remembered and discussed acts of terrorism, it traumatized the country and the world in general (Gould & Klor, 2010). This paper discusses the traumatic impact of the New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

  • Affective

The attacks lead to physical injury and death of people affected; those people who were rescued were tortured psychologically, emotionally, and physically. The first observable reaction at the point of attack was shock and denial among the people who experienced the attack firsthand; they could not understand what was happening. Confusion filled the entire region and the country at large.

  • Behavioral

Terror attacks inflict fear in people; no one can fully be secure from the terror act. People who have been exposed to terror attacks have a rollercoaster of emotion, depression, stress, nervousness, and are anxious. When this happens people change their behavior, attitude, and perceptions they hold on other people or situations. After the September 11 attacks, the Americans could be seen repelling the Muslims as they had the notion they were to be held responsible.

  • Cognitive

Terror attacks bring with them some memories and create anniversaries that may be disturbing to the people directly or indirectly affected. In the United States, September 11 is remembered with sorrow and grief where buried memories are awakened.

  • Ecological

Terror creates a sense of mistrust which breeds in interpersonal relationships problems like withdrawal, lack of trust, denials, and excessive augments. From a physical angle, terror attacks create damage to properties and the environment.

  • Physical effects

After a terror attack, people undergo physical injury, headaches, nausea, and chest pains that might lead to issues in the future (Bird, Blomberg & Hess, 2008).

Crisis Intervention strategy

After a terrorist attack, people suffer psychological stress that is likely to affect their normal life negatively. To avoid such occurrences and assist people to get back to their normal life, psychologists have the role of counseling and enforcing the affect party’s psychological power. This can be done through six staged mechanisms as follows:

  • Assessment: the initial function is to ensure that the effect that the attack has on the party affected has been gauged and known. Different people suffer differently and so do their need for assistance.
  • Express: this offers a chance for someone to express his or her heart and the way he feels about the situation. Talking is the initial and most important method of relieving oneself.
  • Explore help: people can be consoled by different people, it is important to establish the person who is likely to make the best consoler to the affected party, and then the person can be advised on how to handle the situation.
  • How to cope: the first three exercises act as first aid to an affected person, after this, he can be ready for more therapy and held from professionals and counselors
  • Solve the problem: this involves professionals understanding the best way they can intervene with the situation; they work hand in hand with the patient to get the right way forward.
  • How to prevent relapse: this takes the form of reinforcing positive thinking and acceptance of the situation as it is.

Terrorism attacks have traumatizing effects on people affected; they suffer physically, psychologically, and emotionally. After an attack, there is a need for quick crisis intervention strategies to control the situation and prevent adverse aftermath effects (Bouhana & Wikström, 2011).


  1. Bird, G., Blomberg, S., & Hess, G. D. (2008). International Terrorism: Causes, Consequences and Cures. World Economy, 31(2), 255-274
  2. Bouhana, N., & Wikström, P. H. (2011). THEORIZING TERRORISM: TERRORISM AS MORAL ACTION. Contemporary Readings in Law & Social Justice, 2(2), 9-79.
  3. Gould, E. D., & Klor, E. F. (2010). Does Terrorism Work?. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 125(4), 1459-1510.

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Premium Papers. (2022, December 26). The Traumatic Impact of Terrorist Attacks. Retrieved from


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"The Traumatic Impact of Terrorist Attacks." Premium Papers, 26 Dec. 2022,


Premium Papers. (2022) 'The Traumatic Impact of Terrorist Attacks'. 26 December.


Premium Papers. 2022. "The Traumatic Impact of Terrorist Attacks." December 26, 2022.

1. Premium Papers. "The Traumatic Impact of Terrorist Attacks." December 26, 2022.


Premium Papers. "The Traumatic Impact of Terrorist Attacks." December 26, 2022.