Helping Our Kids Overcome a Traumatic Background

We know our kids have experienced trauma, but how can we help them overcome this trauma to become healthy happy adults. We talk about resilience and overcoming an adverse beginning with Dr. Julian Ford and Dr. Amanda Zelechoski. Dr. Ford is a clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychiatry and Law at the University of Connecticut where he directs two Treatment and Services Adaptation Centers in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Dr. Ford is past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and has published more than 250 articles and book chapters and is the author or editor of 10 books. Dr. Amanda Zelechoski is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist specializing in trauma. She is a professor of psychology and Director of Clinical Training at Purdue University Northwest.

In this episode, we cover:

  • What are some of the different types of events/situations that can be traumatic to a child?
  • Do different types of trauma affect children differently? Short term but intense trauma. Long term trauma at the hands of a primary caregiver. Neglect? Witnessing domestic violence? Prenatal trauma?
  • Why does early life trauma make it harder for kids to succeed at life?
  • What are some signs of trauma by age of child? Preschool? Elementary? Middle and High School? (learning, physical health, mental health, trouble with the law, etc.)
  • How to help our kids overcome their traumatic background and thrive?
  • How to rewire the neurons?
  • Triggers
  • Emotional regulation.
  • What can parents do to help their kids bounce back from their early life trauma?
  • What is the key element to resilience?
  • How can parents encourage resilience?
  • What role does temperament or personality play in resilience to trauma?
  • How long does it take for kids to “heal” from trauma?
  • Are there specific types of therapy that are more effective than others for helping children overcome trauma? Does it differ depending on the type of trauma?

Resources: Roadmap to Resilience Podcast series.

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth

Image Credit: Ksenia Chernaya