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The Danish Center of Psychotraumatology

About us

The Danish Center of Psychotraumatology was founded in 2009 and is a continuation of a research unit from the Institute of Psychology at Aarhus University. Psychotraumatology and health psychology has become the two main pillars in this new department at The Southern University of Denmark. We have the largest expertise of psychotraumatology in the country and are an international center at the forefront of research on acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and complex PTSD. 

Our mission

Knowledge regarding trauma related disorders are important to be able to help people  right away and to help reduce chronic disorders. Our mission is to provide a scientific foundation to improve the quality of life of people with trauma-induced mental disorders, and to contribute to the reduction of the prevalence of trauma-induced disorders. 

The Center has eight primary research areas: Children, Disaster and Terror, War, Work, Violence, Illness, Health and Grief, Rehabilitation and Trauma Mechanisms and Methods.

The Center publishes new articles within the research areas each year. Below is the number of publications since the center was founded in 2009.

Graph showing the number of publications published a year since 2009.

Last updated April 2023

The Center collaborates with partners across Denmark

We, at the Danish Center of Psychotraumatology, are especially proud of our work within:

  • The contribution to the narrow PTSD diagnosis and the new diagnosis of complex PTSD in WHO ICD-11 with a total of 26 publications from our center.
  • Assesment in childhood - we have provided the 5 regional children's centres with validating assesment tools, including a newly developed dollhouse test, Odense Child Screening Test (OCTS), for children from the age 4-8 whom have limited language skills - thereby being suitable for traumatized children who have been exposed to abuse. 

And as the first we have been able to prove:

  • A positive effect of staying in shelters in terms of a significant reduction of trauma symptoms - we are now starting a study of the 160 children in the shelters.
  • Psychological violence is more harmful than physical and sexual violence - we are consulting with WHO to develop definitions and interventions.
  • That children with epilepsy can also develop PTSD and half of their parents are also traumatized - we are developing parenting programmes at Filadelfia. 
  • That half of the children whose mothers are stalked develop PTSD - we are helping the Danish Stalking Centre to expand their treatment efforts. 

In addition, we are also proud of:

  • The regional incest centres (CSM) use our assessment battery to monitor their treatment - in 19 published analyses, we have examined their client group and are in the process of improving treatment for a group that has not benefited from their treatment.
  • We where able to show that the amygdala and hippocampus in the non-dominant hemisphere act as a firewall against old traumas. 
  • We have mapped trauma exposure and prevalence of PTSD in 10 countries among adolescents. 
  • We were the first to study the prevalence of secondary traumatization in Denmark among workers in vulnerable occupations. 
  • We have studied the consequences of all recent Danish disasters. 
  • We have contributed to the quality assurance of a recommendation to the UN General Assembly on peacekeeping forces.

The centers plan for the future 2023-2027

  • Odense Child Trauma Screening (OCTS) has been launched in 10 countries.
  • Conducted data-driven therapy within two areas of trauma. 
  • Done a follow-up on the 1984 cohort (different types of abuse) and with the inclusion of siblings and non-respondents.
  • Carried out a population study of trauma exposure.
  • Secured financial foundation by being included in the Finance Act.
  • Conduct one official task per year for the National Board of Health and Welfare or the equivalent.
  • Be the main supplier of trauma tests in Greenland.

The Danish Center of Psychotraumatology is located at the Institute for Psychology at the Southern University of Denmark.

The center can be contacted by e-mail:


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Project overview June 2023

Project overview from june 2023

Last Updated 26.09.2023