How to Harness the Power of Neuroplasticity to Heal Childhood Trauma

The latest research highlights a profound truth: childhood trauma rewires the neural pathways in young brains. Early life adversities—such as neglect, abuse, and divorce—ignite a storm in the brain and body, leading to cognitive impairment, avoidance, emotional instability, and hypervigilance. These traumatic experiences teach the brain to prioritize protection over connection, disrupting the fundamental need for trust and safety in children and manifesting in various trauma-related symptoms. Amidst this challenging reality, there is a beacon of hope. Cutting-edge research on neuroplasticity

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a mother with two teenage children.

15 Coping Skills to Teach Kids with a History of Trauma

This week, I was quoted in an article on Parents.com about 20 coping strategies for children experiencing stress and anxiety. With over 74 million viewers on their website, this was a huge accomplishment for me! I’m so grateful Parents highlighted my suggestions so we could reach more families with trauma-informed skills. My 15 Favorite Coping Skill for Kids In the Parents.com article, I explain bilateral stimulation (BLS), one of my favorite coping skills. It involves crossing our body’s midline while

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grieving child being embraced by an adult

Embracing Children’s Grief on Mother’s Day

  (A note on my word choice: I am using the word “first” next to “mother” to pay respect to the relationship between a birth mother and child if the child is now being raised by someone else.) Mother’s Day is almost here, and boy, does it crush the souls of some children. A day dedicated to celebrating maternal love and appreciation can be a challenging time for children who have lost connection with their first mothers. While many families

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Women at work looking stressed out. Hands on her face.

How Children’s Mental Health Impacts Working Parents – We are Not OK

This article is a call to action for employers. It’s clear the children’s mental health crisis is impacting the bottom line of corporate America. It’s estimated that workplace stress is costing U.S. employers 200 billion every year in healthcare costs alone. It’s time we provide more support to working parents who are terrified and burnt out from worries about their children. Working parents make up approximately 81% of the U.S. workforce, and according to a 2023 Pew Research report, 75%

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Are Bad Therapists Harming Our Children?

The April 2024 Childhood Trauma Newsletter Last month, Elon Musk endorsed “Bad Therapy,” a new book written by a reporter that places blame on mental health therapists and trauma-informed care as the cause of the children’s mental health crisis.  The book proposes that children’s mental health professionals are taking advantage of their clients by intentionally keeping them in a therapy loop to make money. The author also posits that the trauma-informed movement is the catalyst of the children’s mental health

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Healing Attachment Wounds After Childhood Trauma

The February 2024 Childhood Trauma Newsletter As many of us in child psychology have known for decades, attachment to safe and loving caregivers in babyhood and childhood is paramount for long-term emotional and physical well-being. However, as awareness of secure attachment grows in the general population, more and more of you are scared that you are missing the mark and failing to provide your children/students/clients with the attachment they need to live a successful life. But I’m here to tell

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Stop Intrusive Thoughts in Their Track: Strategies for Children with Trauma

The January 2024 Childhood Trauma Newsletter – by Beth Tyson, MA Photo by Glenna Haug on Unsplash   Hi Trauma Champion, Welcome to the January 2024 Childhood Trauma Newsletter. If you make time to read this newsletter I am so proud of you! Helping children heal from trauma is the most important work we can do in 2024. This month, it was put on my heart to share strategies to help children cope with intrusive thoughts. If your child has

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The December Childhood Trauma Newsletter: Building Resilience in Children with Trauma

Embarrassing mom truth: When my toddler was learning to walk, I asked my mom friends if I could put a helmet on her so she wouldn’t bump her head. This mama instinct came from a desire to protect my child from harm, an intense intuition many mothers feel.  Thankfully, a friend talked me out of the helmet with common sense. How would she learn to be safe if she never got hurt? Children need to experience natural consequences to learn

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The Nov. Childhood Trauma Newsletter: Healing Intergenerational Trauma

  Welcome to the November CTN! I can barely find the words to express how excited I am for you to learn more about my Trauma Champion of the Month. Her name is Dr. Mariel Buqué, and she’s a world-renowned specialist in intergenerational trauma. I highly recommend you follow her and preorder her new book, Break the Cycle: A Guide to Healing Intergenerational Trauma. I am planning another Trauma Book Chat on Dr. Buque´’s new book, and she WILL join

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Guiding Children Through the Trauma of War

In a world often marred by conflict and violence, it’s crucial to provide children with the necessary support and guidance to help them navigate the traumatic experiences of war and violence. In this enlightening video, we explore practical strategies and expert advice on how to assist children in coping with these distressing situations. It feels impossible to provide any meaningful guidance on this topic when I’ve never experienced war myself, however, I can speak to how trauma generally impacts all

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The October Childhood Trauma Newsletter – What a Trauma Therapist Would Say to Children About War

My heart is in pieces because of the horrific violence taking place overseas. It feels uncomfortable to send this newsletter at a time like this. I know many of you are hurting, scared, and overwhelmed by the images and stories pouring out of the news. I am with you. I am fortunate to live in a safe place, and that privilege is not lost on me. I want to remind you that it is okay to take a break from

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Overcome the “Post-Holiday Blues” Using the Power of Reflection

Have you heard of the Post-Holiday Blues (PHB’s)? The week or two following the holiday season is the most depressing time of the year for many people. From Halloween to December 25th I ride a wave of nostalgia, excitement, activities, gatherings, and joy and then on the 26th that wave crashes into the shore line and my underlying grief rises to the surface. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) this experience has name. It’s called the “post-holiday

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Helping Teens and Young Adults Cope with Rejection

https://youtu.be/Yiq-m6Tkj20 I think some rejection is helpful. It can show us where we need to improve. It can help us build resilience. It can teach us how to be persistent. However, children with developmental trauma and experience with the foster care system often internalize rejection on a much deeper level. A few examples of traumatic rejection are:  This type of rejection can be traumatic, making the world feel scary and threatening. When teens and young adults don’t feel accepted into

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Self-Sabotage as a Trauma Response in Children and How to Stop It

Self-sabotage sometimes occurs throughout our lives regardless of the trauma we’ve endured. It’s that night you ate a package of Oreos after working out all week. It’s putting off studying for that important test until the night before. Or maybe it’s breaking up with someone suitable for us and going after the “bad boy” type instead. In these instances, we are conscious of our choices but choose an option that is not best for us anyway. This can create anger

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The Ambiguous Loss in Foster and Kinship Care: Navigating the Emotional Turmoil

Have you ever longed for someone still alive on the earth but unreachable for one reason or another? Did you feel the tension of wanting to connect with someone who was unavailable to you? If you answered yes, you experienced the pain of “ambiguous loss.” Life is full of losses, both tangible and intangible. We often associate loss with the physical departure of a loved one or the end of a significant chapter in our lives. However, there exists a

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When Mother’s Day Hurts

I’m just going to say it, Mother’s Day sucks for some people. As this day approaches each year, a familiar feeling creeps over me. It initially appears as irritability and fatigue but eventually reveals itself as my old friend grief. I lost my mom suddenly in 2005 and later became a trauma therapist for children in the foster care system. These life experiences make me aware that not everyone wants to celebrate Mother’s Day. Some mothers have so much unprocessed

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Normalizing the Struggle of New Parenthood to Reduce Parental Death and Childhood Trauma

The period of time from the beginning of pregnancy through the first few years of your new child’s life is referred to by scientists as matrescence or patrescence (M/P), and I’m focusing on this topic because I think it could reduce the rates of maternal/paternal suicide and childhood trauma around the globe. I want to acknowledge before moving forward that I am using gendered language in this article to discuss M/P because (unfortunately) the only research we have available today

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6 Mental Health Myths to Say Goodbye to in 2023

As a trauma therapist, I often encounter beliefs amongst the general public about mental health and child psychology that aren’t true or are misunderstood. Since it’s a new year, I rounded up a list of the worst offenders to see if we can do a collective pruning of some of the most pervasive and damaging beliefs about mental health. Let’s do this. The 6 Mental Health Myths to Say Goodbye to in 2023 Myth #1. Believing we are “disordered” for

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Video: How to Help Children Cope with Narcissistic Parents

A video on trauma-responsive and healing-centered care to help children cope with narcissistic/abusive parents. Warning: I discuss general concepts around child abuse but don’t share any graphic details. This content is for adults only, and I don’t recommend listening to it out loud with children in the room. As a trauma therapist, I worked with children who endured the worst suffering, abandonment, and abuse at the hands of their parents. In this 40-minute video, I share practical tips and psychoeducation

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The September Childhood Trauma Newsletter – How to Stop Scary, Intrusive Thoughts in Children

Hi Trauma Champion, In this edition of The Childhood Trauma Newsletter, I want to share a strategy that is working in my family for anxious, intrusive thoughts. But before we get there, what are scary, intrusive thoughts, and why do they happen? If you’ve ever experienced them, like I have, then unfortunately, you know how disturbing they can be. But for those who may not know about this psychological phenomenon or why it happens, read on. Scary, intrusive thoughts are

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The August Childhood Trauma Newsletter: Matrescence, Patrescence, Infant Attachment, & Book Chat

It’s August, and the sights and sounds of back-to-school are joyously vibrating through my being! I don’t know about you, but this summer has been a challenge in the parenting department. Children thrive in their routines and structure, and summer life does not have enough of that for my child because the baffling behaviors are off the charts! As a former child trauma therapist, I feel the pressure to always know what to do as a parent, and when I

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The July Childhood Trauma Newsletter: Best Practices for Using Bilateral Stimulation with Children

Plus, a free webinar replay, & book chat registration! By Beth Tyson, MA Welcome to the July edition of my Childhood Trauma Newsletter! Let’s get right to it… Trauma Tip of the Month: To build on the topic of last month’s newsletter, I would like to explore best practices with a trauma-informed technique called bilateral stimulation (BLS) that can help you deepen your attachment with children while fostering healing and resilience in the nervous system. Whether a child has experienced

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The June Childhood Trauma Newsletter: EMDR therapy, New Podcasts, and Apologies to Children

Welcome to the June edition of The Childhood Trauma Newsletter! I have so much new content and resources to share with you! First off, have you heard of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR)? If not, you need to understand this evidence-based modality of trauma treatment. It’s a game-changer. I am certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, and the process was a transformational experience for me. For years I heard how powerful EMDR therapy could be

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The May Childhood Trauma Newsletter

What’s on my mind? Spring is in full swing where I live, and getting outside more is doing wonders for my nervous system. On the other hand, allergies!! I’m so tired that I feel like I need a nap every day. Since I don’t have the time to do that, I’ve been taking 10-20 minutes to practice Non-Sleep Deep Relaxation (NSDR), which is a game-changer for my energy levels. Instead of waking up from a nap groggy and more tired,

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