Toxic Stress

Although some stress is normal and even healthy, toxic stress is not. Children who have experienced a trauma often feel helpless and hopeless and live in a constant state of worry and fear. This toxic stress negatively influences every aspect of the child’s development. Some of the most common experiences among children living with toxic stress include:

Always anticipating something bad to happen, feeling jumpy and nervous, distorted perception of others’ non-verbal body language and facial cues.

Shuts down easily when negative situations arise, uses food, alcohol, drugs or other addictive behaviors to numb out.

Negative cognition
Inaccurate beliefs about oneself, others and the work around them.

Emotional distress
Depressed, anxious, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

Health problems and somatic complaints
Stomachaches, headaches, physical health problems such as obesity and hypertension.

Difficulty with relationships
Withdraws, blames and pushes other away, does not feel worthy of love.

The online course, Healing the Experience of Trauma, was developed for practitioners to use with children who are living in a constant state of toxic stress. Instead of asking a child what happened, it focuses on their lives now. The course consists of video segments of a live presentation by Dr. Caelan Soma. $199 includes CEs.

The new “Healing the Experience of Trauma” program by Dr. Caelan Soma, includes a manual for the clinician, with step-by-step instructions to move through 9 sessions with a child, adolescent or group and one journal. Move back and forth between the themes of trauma and introduce them to feelings of connection, resilience and strength. Buy it now for $75!

By Dr. Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW

Dr. Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW, Chief Clinical Officer, oversees all clinical operations and research at Starr Commonwealth. Dr. Soma provides trauma assessment and trauma-informed, resilience-focused intervention for youth utilizing evidence-based practices, including Starr’s SITCAP© model programs.

About Starr Commonwealth

Starr Commonwealth is dedicated to the mission to lead with courage to create positive experiences so that all children, families, and communities flourish. We specialize in residential, community-based, educational, and professional training programs that build on the strengths of children, adults, and families in communities around the world. To schedule a training or consultation, please contact or call 800-837-5591.