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 relatively common in children and adults. While the prevalence can vary from child to child, it is important to recognize that experiencing intrusive thoughts, including frightening or distressing ones, is a normal part of cognitive development. These thoughts are a natural product of a child’s growing awareness of the world, imagination, and cognitive processes. Some key points to consider regarding scary intrusive thoughts in children are:

It’s essential for parents, caregivers, and educators to be aware of the possibility of scary intrusive thoughts in children and to differentiate between average developmental experiences and potential signs of emotional distress. While these thoughts are common, if they become persistent, severe, or significantly interfere with a child’s daily life, seeking guidance from a mental health professional is advisable to ensure the child receives appropriate support and intervention.

Helping Children Cope with Intrusive Thoughts

“Change the Channel” Strategy

Created by Beth Tyson Trauma Consulting

My child and I devised this game when she had difficulty going to bed one night. Give it a shot and see if it helps your children find their “felt safety” during stressful times. With trauma, feeling safe is always the first goal, so here we go:

News from Beth Tyson Trauma Consulting

Last week, I went to New York to speak at the Kinship Care Month Celebration! I was touched by the many conversations I had with the kinship families and the professionals who serve this population. I took photos with “The Kinship Caregiver of the Year,” a grandmother raising multiple grandchildren who perseveres through the most difficult challenges but never gives up.

Below is a photo of me with the family. They were excited to get their signed copy of my book for kinship families, A Grandfamily for Sullivan.

You can watch a short video of the event HERE. As we close Kinship Month, I thank the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other kin raising children from hard places. You are changing the world for the better and breaking the cycle of trauma.

My latest podcast interview with neuroscientist and professor Selena Bartlett is out today.

We discuss several pop psychology myths regarding trauma-informed care, including our controversial thoughts on diagnosing “disorders” in children. I think you will find our conversation thought-provoking and insightful – if I do say so myself!

Click below to listen and read the full show notes for an overview of the myths.


I am hosting a masterclass about How to Prevent and Heal Childhood Trauma on the Circles app on Monday, September 25th at 6 pm EST.

For those who don’t know, Circles is an app that connects adults going through similar life challenges so your never alone. It is especially helpful if you need extra support while coping with childhood trauma, loss, or parenting struggles.

You must download the app to participate in my masterclass, which I find frustrating. Still, after giving it some thought, I decided to do this event because there is an existing audience on the app that might benefit from my message. If you are interested in attending, you can download the app for free temporarily and cancel it if it’s not for you. I hope to see you there!

I am currently accepting inquiries for training and speaking events on trauma-responsive and healing-centered care for organizations that serve children. Please contact me at to plan your custom interactive event!

Trauma Resources of the Month

“In response to the growing number of students who need mental health counseling, the School-Based Healthcare Solutions Network (SBHSN) is accepting applications from Local Education Agencies (LEA), Public and Private Universities, State and local Colleges, Charter School Management Companies, Public Schools, Charter Schools, and Non-Profit Organizations (501c3) to implement and expand mental health program services on local school campuses.”Please share this within your communities and school districts.

Listen to Bethany’s recent podcast episode on Intergenerational Trauma with renowned trauma therapist Dr. Mariel Buque. Bethany’s podcast is a beacon of healing for everyone involved in the adoption constellation. If you or someone you know is adopted, I highly encourage you to take a listen. Shameless plug: I will be a guest on Bethany’s show soon. Stay tuned by following her pod.

Next Steps

    • Is there a topic you would like me to teach about that you don’t see in my newsletter, or do you have suggestions for content to add that would be helpful? If so, please email and share your ideas with me. I will consider each one.
    • To read past versions of the Childhood Trauma Newsletter, packed with valuable skills for trauma-responsive care and free resources, please visit

My YouTube Channel – Free webinars on childhood trauma. Please help me reach 1,000 subscribers!

LinkedIn (19K+ followers)

Facebook (11k+ followers)

Emotiminds (Join the 5.2K members of my private, educational Facebook Group)

While we strive to be the best caregivers/therapists/teachers we can be, we must also remember that we don’t have to get it right every second of the day. Hang in there and keep going! The children need you.

With hope and love,


A Grandfamily for Sullivan is my tender-hearted story for children raised by their relatives. It has over 140 five-star reviews on Amazon, and helps children cope with the trauma of being removed from their parents when it’s unsafe for them to live together. I also offer speaking events and book readings for kinship organizations. Learn more at
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