Traumatized Children Need
- To know they are not alone with their terror and grief.
- To hear the stories and see the reactions of peers also traumatized by either violent or non-violent traumatic incidents.
- The opportunity to express their terror, fear, sadness, and even desires to have their loved one back.
- A vehicle of communication, like playing, drawing, or storytelling to allow them to express their feelings safely. These activities come naturally to children. You can learn more of what a child is feeling through these activities than by asking questions like “How do you feel?” or “How mad are you about what happened?”
- To learn that their reactions, as well as reactions they might yet experience as a result of their trauma, are normal.
- The opportunity to re-attach emotionally to the adult world which they may perceive to have betrayed them by letting this trauma happen or not keeping them safe.
- To have the time and trauma-specific attention needed to help them find relief from their terror and to develop a sense of power over that terror.
- To replace the terror and the sadness with happy memories.
How Can Traumatized Children Get What They Need?
A trained Trauma Specialist, Consultant, Counselor, or Therapist will:
- Use drawing as a primary vehicle of communication for the child to be able to share the details of their trauma for which he or she rarely has words to describe.
- Use storytelling to help the traumatized child find a safe, non-frightening way to let us know what he or she needs most from trauma specialists and parents.
- Use other art activities and play as safe vehicles of communication.
- Ask very trauma-specific questions and engage the child in very trauma-specific activities like drawing the body of the deceased or critically injured trauma victim.
- Rely heavily on parental support.
- See the child individually or in a trauma-specific group program.