It takes a caring community to help children recover after trauma

Recently we were very lucky to have the renowned researcher Bruce Perry visit Melbourne, and share the latest findings about what neurobiological understandings of trauma can teach us about how to help traumatized kids who may be having all sorts of difficulties with managing their feelings, getting on with other kids, as well as completing the developmental tasks they need to achieve as part of growing up. Bruce has some powerful messages for all parents, carers, teachers and - for that matter - anyone in the community who tries to help troubled kids (that's a lot of people!) In essence - when every person that is influential in a child's life  provides positive, nurturing interactions over...and over... and over... that child can recover from the bad things that may have happened to them. What this does, slowly over time, is change the way that child's brain works. Isn't that mind-boggling - the idea that we are that powerful, as parents, friends, relatives. We have the power to CHANGE the way a child's brain works by giving them positive, healthy responses!!! Of course, some learning and support from a qualified professional may be required to know what to do in the face of behaviours that can be enormously challenging. But what an opportunity we have to create change together!

To read more about Bruce Perry's and other research as well, check out www.childtrauma.org, or go to my resources page to take a look at his book, entitled "Born for love: why empathy is essential and endangered".

More next time, Vivienne.

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