What science tells us about kindness, healing and helping each other through trauma
Erin Anderssen. (2021). The Globe and Mail.
What Survival Looks Like at Home
Inner World and Beacon House. Helen Townsend.
The Neurobiology of Grace Under Fire: 8 Habits that Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve and Keep You Calm, Cool, and Collected
Christopher Bergland. (2013). Psychology Today.
Helping Children and Teens Cope With Stressful Public Events
The Impact of Trauma
Echo Parenting & Education. (2018)
Psychedelic Aids for Working with Psych Trauma
Janina Fisher. (2011)
Heightened Neural activity to threat in Child victims of Family Violence
McCrory, E.J. De Brito, S.A. Sebastian, C.L. Mechelli, A. Bird, G. Kelly, P.A. Viding, E. Current Biology. Vol 21 No 23
Making Sense of Trauma
Helpful handout listing a number of informative websites focusing on Trauma resources.
Taking Care of Children in Alarming Times
Gordon Neufeld. Neufeldinstitute.org.
Helping Traumatized Children: A Brief Overview for Caregivers
Child Trauma Academy. Bruce D. Perry. Childtrauma.org
In Helping Traumatized Children, Bruce Perry and the Child Trauma Academy created a guide to help address issues related to understanding a child’s emotional reactions to traumatic events. All though the booklet is focused on caregivers, caseworkers, teachers, family members, all adults alike will find this booklet very informative. Perry believes the more we “understand these children and the impact of traumatic experiences, the more compassion” we can use to help them.
When a traumatic event occurs in a child’s life many parents are unsure of what to say, how to react, or even what to do: Perry addresses these concerns and simplifies frequently asked questions. For example, one question he often receives is “Should I talk about the traumatic event?” or “Do children understand events accurately?”, he identifies and explains the most appropriate response and approach a parent or caregiver can provide the child. He also goes into detail explaining how adults can help the child by being nurturing and caring; ways a parent or caregiver can talk to the child; and the importance of asking for help if you are unsure.
Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Brain Development
Child Welfare Information Gateway.
Understanding the Effects of Maltreatment on Brain Development provides readers with a basic understanding of normal brain development and the negative effects abuse and neglect have on the brain. It provides information on the emotional, mental, and behavioral impact of childhood abuse.
The authors explain the neurological development of the brain, from the brainstem to the cortex and the neural connections of the brain’s formation. They go in depth to examine the influence the environment has on altering the brains system, also known as plasticity, the magnitude and timing of stressful events, and the lasting imprint maltreatment has. Lastly, the authors assess the roles of the Child Welfare system and caregivers along with possible prevention and early intervention strategies.
Six Core Strengths for Healthy Child Development – B. D. Perry
Child Trauma Academy. Bruce D. Perry.
The Six Core Strengths by Bruce Perry, in collaboration with the Child Trauma Academy, focuses on key concepts for healthy child development. The series is directed towards three main groups: teachers, clinicians, and parents and caregivers. The six core concepts for a strong foundation is; attachment, self-regulations, affiliation, awareness, tolerance, and respect. Perry describes each strength and signs one should be aware of.
He also describes each concept as it portrays to a classroom environment. In addition to examining each core concept he also details classroom activities teachers can implement to help students achieve such strengths. He identifies certain behavioural challenges the child may exert if they are struggling and the approach teachers can utilize. For example, if a child who struggles with attachment is finding it difficult to make and keep friends, he suggest to “encourage pairing and small group work that enables students to get to know each other”.
Establishing a Level Foundation for Life: Mental Health Begins in Early Childhood
National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard. (2012
Establishing a Level Foundation For Life is a comprehensive article focusing on early childhood mental health and the importance it plays on development. The authors break the article into five sections; why mental health is so significant in early childhood; what science tells us; common misconceptions about early childhood mental health; the gap between science and policies; and implications for policies and programs.
The article examines our response to stress, especially prolonged toxic stress, and how stress “activates our biological stress response system” which leads to the release of “abnormal stress hormones” in the brain. Frequent release of these hormones has the capacity to cause “damage”. Research has shown when a child’s stress hormones are over stimulated causing damage to the neurological activity it can inhibit areas of function such as, academic achievement. In order to ensure a child’s mental health, the authors conclude the article by recognizing the importance of policies and early intervention. For example, parents own mental health is fundamental to a child’s mental health. If a parent has good coping skills and a strong mental health, most likely the child will as well.