The Traumatized Child
"When trauma occurs early in life, children do not develop the capacity to regulate their experience
to calm themselves down when theyre upset, to soothe themselves, to interact in appropriate ways with other people, to learn from their behavior" Margaret Blaustein, PhD
The impact of abuse and neglect on childrenon their behaviors, on their sense of self, and on their capacity to form attachments with new caregiverscan pose challenges for foster and adoptive parents, as well as for teachers and other professionals.
In this video series, therapists Margaret Blaustein, Joyanna Silberg, Frances Waters, and Sandra Wieland describe how traumatized children understand the world and interact with others differently from other children, and how adults can respond most effectively. They explore such topics as anger and anxiety, trauma triggers, dissociation, de-escalation strategies, grounding techniques, and the process of building a trusting relationship. Their observations are reinforced by the accounts of parents, teachers, and former foster children. The presenters emphasize the importance of understanding what drives traumatized childrens behaviors, rather than simply reacting to them. They provide concrete suggestions for stabilizing traumatized children and improving adult/child interactions.
Useful for foster and adoptive parents, teachers, school counselors and psychologists, and mental health professionals. Released 2004.
"Deep down, kids all want the same stuff. They all want to be loved, they all want a family. And they all want to know why they didnt have a family and they weren’t loved. They're trying to figure out why everything happened to them and can it ever be okay
so that they can say to themselves, It will be okay, and I can relax, and these people aren’t going to hurt me." Robert Kendall, former foster child
Understanding the Traumatized Child
(#269, 44 min.)
Former foster children, parents, teachers, and therapists discuss the variety of ways in which children may be traumatized, and describe the impact of trauma on the way children view themselves and others.
Incidence and types of trauma
Effects of trauma on children
The "fight, flight, or freeze" response
Sense of self in traumatized children
Bouncing through the foster care system
Disordered attachment in traumatized children
Hypervigilance and other behaviors in traumatized children
Dissociation and triggers in traumatized children
Trauma re-enactments in traumatized children
Helping traumatized children heal
"When he got in trouble he would start stuffing stuff into a paper bag, saying he needed to leave. And it really did take a good year before he accepted the fact that we weren’t going to give him away even when he was bad" Kathleen Molaro, adoptive mother
Parenting the Traumatized Child
(#270, 45 min.)
Therapists and foster and adoptive parents, along with former foster children, examine the particular challenges in caring for severely traumatized children.
Behaviors encountered by parents
Grounding and de-escalation
Problems with attachment in traumatized children
Traumatized childrens nightmares
Environment and structure for traumatized children
Boundaries and time outs for traumatized children
Developing trust in traumatized children
Working with therapists
Burnout, respite, and self-care
"The first thing you have to provide for them is a safe, comfortable environment. Number one, they need to develop a feeling of trust and comfort and security. And it needs to go for a long period of timeit’s got to be something that they can count on day in and day out" Dale Latimer, high school teacher
Teaching the Traumatized Child
(#271, 45 min.)
This program combines guidance from therapists with the real-world insights of classroom teachers and former foster children.
Traumatized childrens behavior at different ages
Escalation and de-escalation
Bullying of traumatized children
Structure and rules for traumatized children
Flexibility and trust
Friends and socialization
Value of team approach with traumatized children
Adjunctive programs for traumatized children
Vicarious traumatization and self-care
Purchase price: One VHS/DVD $95, two $175, all three $250
Rental price: One VHS/DVD $40, two $70, all three $95
TO ORDER - phone or fax 800-345-5530
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Complex PTSD in Children
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Children with Disrupted Attachment
About the Presenters
Margaret E. Blaustein, PhD is a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of children and families impacted by chronic trauma. She is the Associate Director of Children’s Services and the Clinical Training Coordinator at The Trauma Center in Allston, MA, a site of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
Joyanna Silberg, PhD coordinates Trauma Disorder Services for children at Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore. She was Clinician at Forbush School in Baltimore, which provides special education and therapeutic services for emotionally disturbed children in pre-school through 12th grade, for 8 years.
Frances Waters, DCSW LMFT, in private practice in Marquette, MI, has specialized in the field of child abuse for 25 years. She works as an educator, trainer, consultant and clinician in the area of childhood trauma and dissociation. She is president-elect of the International Society for the Study of Dissociation.
Sandra Wieland, PhD is a psychologist working with children, adolescents, and adults who have experienced trauma, at the Centre for Counselling and Therapy, Victoria, B.C., Canada. She is past director of the Centre for Treatment of Sexual Abuse and Childhood Trauma in Ottawa, and has written several books on therapy for children who have experienced abuse.
Chris Bock has been a foster parent for 18 years, working with high school age boys.
Gerald Fogel worked with emotionally disturbed children for 26 years, and is now retired. He taught a 7-12 ED class for 6 years, and a K-8 ED class for 16 years.
Grace Griffin and her husband Fred have been foster parents for 12 years, and have cared for more than 100 foster children.
Dale Latimer has worked with emotionally disturbed children for the last 20 years. He currently teaches a high school ED program, and coaches basketball.
Kathleen Molaro has taught for 20 years, the last 6 years in kindergarten. She and her husband Cliff adopted John when he was 8 years old.
Nancy Robinson has taught for 30 years, 20 of them in kindergarten. She currently teaches second grade.
Chris Shelton has taught school for 32 years, 16 years in first grade and 16 years in 6th-8th grades. She is also an MFT, with a private practice in marriage and family therapy.
Terry Winters and his wife Vicki have been foster parents for 3 years.
The Trainer’s Guide
The 50-page trainer’s guide includes objectives, reproducible viewer outlines, review and discussion questions, a resource list, a journal article, and a book chapter, described below.
Cook, A., Spinazzola, J., Ford, J., Lanktree, C., Blaustein, M., et al. (2005). Complex trauma in children and adolescents. Psychiatric Annals, 35(5), 390 - 398. This article describes a new theoretical framework for understanding complex trauma in children, explains how to apply this framework to assessment of traumatized children and families, and discusses intervention models designed specifically for traumatized children and their families.
Chapter 4, "Breaking the Curse", from Richard Kagan’s book, Rebuilding Attachments with Traumatized Children: Healing from Losses, Violence, Abuse, and Neglect (Haworth Press, 2004), discusses myths that perpetuate abuse and neglect, the criminal justice system, removal of children from the home, the need for more than a loving home, obstacles to rebuilding attachments, strengthening families, and parenting as commitment.