CHILD AND FAMILY TRAUMA FREDERICK H. STRIEDER, MSSA, PHD C L I N I C A L A S S O C I AT E P R O F E S S O R , U N I V E R S I T Y O F MARYLAND SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK D I R E C T O R , F A M I LY C O N N E C T I O N S B A LT I M O R E ELIZABETH THOMPSON, PHD A S S I S TA N T V I C E P R E S I D E N T, D I R E C T O R T H E F A M I LY C E N T E R AT K E N N E D Y K R I E G E R I N S T I T U T E What is Child Traumatic Stress? AGENDA Impact of Trauma on Child and Family National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Trauma Informed Organizational Practice Trauma Interventions Secondary Traumatic Stress and the Workforce Questions What Is Child Traumatic Stress? Artwork courtesy of the International Child Art Foundation ( What Is Child Traumatic Stress? Child traumatic stress refers to the physical and emotional responses of a child to events that threaten the life or physical integrity of the child or of someone critically important to the child (such as a parent or sibling).

Traumatic events overwhelm a childs capacity to cope and elicit feelings of terror, powerlessness, and out-ofcontrol physiological arousal. What Is Child Traumatic Stress, cont'd A childs response to a traumatic event may have a profound effect on his or her perception of self, the world, and the future. Traumatic events may affect a childs: Ability to trust others Sense of personal safety Effectiveness in navigating life changes CONTEXT OF TRAUMA Natural Disasters

Illnesses and Injury 700 BCE documented in Homers Iliad 1800s Freud hysterical neurosis Wars, Genocide, Terrorism WWI shell shock-weakness Industrial and Nuclear Disasters WWII combat neurosis Family and Intimate Partner 1960s Recognition of Effects of Violence Immigration

Workplace and School threats and violence Community/Neighborhood Violence Institutional Victimization/Violation Child Maltreatment Physical, Sexual, Emotional Abuse and Neglect Trauma (Vietnam, Rape Crisis Centers) 1976 Chowchilla, CA (Lenore Terr) 1980-DSM III included PTSD as a diagnosis for Adults 1987-DSM III-R Recognition of differing PTSD symptoms in children 1994,2000- DSM IV TR Full Recognition of Children

Types of Traumatic Stress Acute trauma is a single traumatic event that is limited in time. Chronic trauma refers to the experience of multiple traumatic events. The effects of chronic trauma are often cumulative, as each event serves to remind the child of prior trauma and reinforce its negative impact. Complex trauma describes both exposure to chronic traumausually caused by adults entrusted with the childs careand the impact of such exposure on the child. Prevalence of TraumaUnited States Each year in the United States, more than 1,400 children

nearly 2 children per 100,000die of abuse or neglect. In 2005, 899,000 children were victims of child maltreatment. Of these: 62.8% experienced neglect 16.6% were physically abused 9.3% were sexually abused 7.1% endured emotional or psychological abuse

14.3% experienced other forms of maltreatment (e.g., abandonment, threats of harm, congenital drug addiction) Source: USDHHS. (2007) Child Maltreatment 2005; Washington, DC: US Govt Printing Office. U.S. Prevalence, cont'd One in four children/adolescents experience at least one potentially traumatic event before the age of 16.1 In a 1995 study, 41% of middle school students in urban school systems reported witnessing a stabbing or shooting in the previous year.2 Four out of 10 U.S. children report witnessing violence; 8% report a lifetime prevalence of sexual assault, and 17% report having been physically assaulted.3 1. Costello et al. (2002). J Trauma Stress;5(2):99-112. 2. Schwab-Stone et al. (1995). J Am Acad Child Adolescent

Psychiatry;34(10):1343-1352. 3. Kilpatrick et al. (2003). US Dept. Of Justice. Impact of Trauma on Child and Family Artwork courtesy of the International Child Art Foundation ( Variability in Responses to Stressors and Traumatic Events The impact of a potentially traumatic event is determined by both: The objective nature of the event

The childs subjective response to it Something that is traumatic for one child may not be traumatic for another. Variability, contd The impact of a potentially traumatic event depends on several factors, including: The childs age and developmental stage The childs perception of the danger faced

Whether the child was the victim or a witness The childs relationship to the victim or perpetrator The childs past experience with trauma The adversities the child faces following the trauma The presence/availability of adults who can offer help and

protection Effects of Trauma Exposure on Children When trauma is associated with the failure of those who should be protecting and nurturing the child, it has profound and far-reaching effects on nearly every aspect of the childs life. Children who have experienced the types of trauma that precipitate entry into the child welfare system typically suffer impairments in many areas of development and functioning, including: 13 Effects of Trauma Exposure Attachment. Traumatized children feel that the world is

uncertain and unpredictable. They can become socially isolated and can have difficulty relating to and empathizing with others. Biology. Traumatized children may experience problems with movement and sensation, including hypersensitivity to physical contact and insensitivity to pain. They may exhibit unexplained physical symptoms and increased medical problems. Mood regulation. Children exposed to trauma can have difficulty regulating their emotions as well as difficulty knowing and describing their feelings and internal states. 14 Effects of Trauma Exposure Dissociation. Some traumatized children experience a feeling of detachment or depersonalization, as if they are observing something happening to them that is unreal. Behavioral control. Traumatized children can show poor impulse

control, self-destructive behavior, and aggression towards others. Cognition. Traumatized children can have problems focusing on and completing tasks, or planning for and anticipating future events. Some exhibit learning difficulties and problems with language development. Self-concept. Traumatized children frequently suffer from disturbed body image, low self-esteem, shame, and guilt. 15 Long Term Effects In the absence of more positive coping strategies, children who have experienced trauma may engage in high-risk or destructive coping behaviors. These behaviors place them at risk for a range of serious mental

and physical health problems, including: Alcoholism Drug abuse Depression Suicide attempts

Sexually transmitted diseases (due to high risk activity with multiple partners) Heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, skeletal fractures, and liver disease Source: Felitti et al. (1998). Am J Prev Med;14(4):245-258 16 Childhood Trauma and PTSD Children who have experienced chronic or complex trauma frequently are diagnosed with PTSD. According to the American Psychiatric Association,1 PTSD may be diagnosed in children who have:

Experienced, witnessed, or been confronted with one or more events that involved real or threatened death or serious injury to the physical integrity of themselves or others Responded to these events with intense fear, helplessness, or horror, which may be expressed as disorganized or agitated behavior Source: American Psychiatric Association. (2000). DSM-IV-TR ( 4th ed.). Washington DC: APA. 17 Childhood Trauma and PTSD Key symptoms of PTSD Re-experiencing the traumatic event (e.g. nightmares, intrusive memories) Intense psychological or physiological reactions to internal or

external cues that symbolize or resemble some aspect of the original trauma Avoidance of thoughts, feelings, places, and people associated with the trauma Emotional numbing (e.g. detachment, estrangement, loss of interest in activities) Increased arousal (e.g. heightened startle response, sleep disorders, irritability) Source: American Psychiatric Association. (2000). DSM-IV-TR ( 4th ed.). Washington DC: APA.

Childhood Trauma and Other Diagnoses Other common diagnoses for children in the child welfare system include: Reactive Attachment Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Bipolar Disorder Conduct Disorder These diagnoses generally do not capture the full extent of the developmental impact of trauma. Many children with these diagnoses have a complex trauma history. 19 Trauma and the Brain Trauma can have serious consequences for the normal development of childrens brains, brain chemistry, and nervous system.

Trauma-induced alterations in biological stress systems can adversely effect brain development, cognitive and academic skills, and language acquisition. Traumatized children and adolescents display changes in the levels of stress hormones similar to those seen in combat veterans. 1. Pynoos et al. (1997). Ann N Y Acad Sci;821:176-193 20 Influence of Culture People of different cultural, national, linguistic, spiritual, and ethnic backgrounds may define trauma in different ways and use different expressions to describe their experiences. Child welfare workers own backgrounds can influence

their perceptions of child traumatic stress and how to intervene. Assessment of a childs trauma history should always take into account the cultural background and modes of communication of both the assessor and the family. 21 FITT Model Trauma and Family Informed Principles* Child Respons e Sibling Relation s Urban Poverty

ParentChild Relations Adult/ Parental Response Adult Family of Origin Response Child Family Processe s and Family Outcomes

Parenting Practices & Quality Adult Intimate Relations Time* Acute and longer-term effects Individual development Family life cycle Adapted from Kiser & Black, 2005 National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Artwork courtesy of the International Child Art Foundation ( National Child Traumatic Stress Network The mission of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) is to raise the standard of care and improve access to services for traumatized children, their families and communities throughout the United States. National Child Traumatic Stress Network Funded in 2000 (Childrens Health Act) supported through funding from the Donald J. Cohen National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative, administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS),

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Rapid Change post 9/11/01 Innovative Collaborative Structure: UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (Category I) Intervention Development and Evaluation Centers (Category II) Community Treatment and Service Centers (Category III) Alumni members Trauma Informed Organizational Practice Artwork courtesy of the International Child Art Foundation ( The Paradigm Shift

Traditional Care Trauma-Informed Care Trauma Specific Intervention Trauma-Informed Care Universal understanding that nearly every individual seeking services in human service systems has a trauma history Provision of care should be trauma competent Based on public health prevention concepts (with emphasis on primary and secondary prevention) Commitment to strengths based beliefs and practices (e.g. promoting resilience, collaborative working relationship with consumers and survivors) Pre-requisites for Trauma Informed Service Delivery

Administrative commitment Universal screening for trauma Assessment as needed On-going staff training and education Expert trauma consultation available to staff Hiring practices Review of organizational policies and procedures Avoidance of re-traumatization practices Harris & Fallot (2001) The Sanctuary Model Trauma exposure in individuals who seek services as well as the individuals who provide those services Organizational stressors (e.g. fiscal pressures, regulatory compliance, workloads, etc.) Active creation of trauma informed community 7 Commitments

Nonviolence Emotional Intelligence Social Learning Democracy Open Communication Social Responsibility Growth and Change Trauma Interventions Artwork courtesy of the International Child Art Foundation (

A Good Question... How can we sort out the good from the poor or even harmful interventions? ? The Ideal Clinical Science Process Use in Practice Setting Conduct Efficacy Studies Develop Intervention Approach

Conduct Effectiveness Studies Disseminate Intervention to the Field Quality of Trauma Treatment Potential Family Interventions ChildChild Response Response DAILY HASSLES TF-CBT AF-CBT

CFTSI SFCR Sibling Sibling Relations Relations SOCIAL & SYSTEMS DEMANDS FL SFCR AF-CBT SFCR Trauma Trauma


Adult/ Adult/ Parental Parental Response Response Parenting Parenting Practices Practices && Quality Quality Adult Family of Origin Response

LIVE Grandparent/caregiver Support Groups SAFE Adult Intimate Adult Intimate Relations Relations FamilyFamily Functioning Processes TF-CBT TG-CBT PCIT AF-CBT CPP

FL SFCR AF-CBT FL SFCR TF Parent Coaching Emotionally Focused Therapy FL What is the Common Elements approach? Using elements that are found across several evidence- supported, effective interventions Clinicians borrow strategies and techniques from known treatments, using their judgment and clinical theory to adapt the strategies to fit new contexts and problems (Chorpita, Becker & Daleiden, 2007, 648-649)

An alternate to using treatment manuals to guide practice Actual treatment elements become unit of analysis rather than the treatment manual Treatment elements are selected to match particular client characteristics Secondary Traumatic Stress and the Workplace Artwork courtesy of the International Child Art Foundation ( Potential for Personal Impact Current Research Younger therapists experiences more burnout while more experienced therapists reported more compassion satisfaction. Implementing EBPs generally reduced reported compassion fatigue and burnout.

a state of tension and preoccupation with the traumatized patients by re-experiencing the traumatic events, avoidance/numbing of reminders persistent arousal (e.g. anxiety) associated with the patient (Figley, 2002) The process through which the clinicians inner experience is negatively transformed through empathic engagement with the clients trauma. (McCann & Pearlman,

1990) The cumulative transformative effect upon the professional who works with victims of trauma. (Pearlman & Saakvitne, 1995) Compassion Fatigue Vicarious Trauma Secondary Stress Often experienced as helplessness, confusion, sense of isolation from support Faster onset of symptoms than burnout or

countertransference Faster recovery from symptoms Highly treatable Takes place over time Responses unique to the person Not specific to a particular client the natural, consequent behaviors and emotions resulting from knowledge about a Those with enormous capacity for empathy for others tend to be more at risk traumatizing event experienced by a Who can be affected? significant other. It is the stress resulting from helping or wanting to help a traumatized or suffering person (Figley, 1999, p.10)

A state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long term intervention in an emotionally-demanding situation Clinicians can also be directly experience trauma in their work with families Burnout Directly Traumatized Traumatic Countertransferen ce

Process, not an event Positively associated with stressors (more stressors more burnout) and negatively with social support (more social support less burnout) This can occur in many ways and the impact is dependent upon the individual Depending on clinicians need, additional support may be needed Emotional, physical or interpersonal

reactions toward the client and can be a negative hindrance & inevitable occurrence; but often a positive opportunity for growth, building therapists intuition, self-awareness and perceptions (Burke, Carruth & Pritchard, 2006, pg. 287-288). Spontaneous response of professional regarding clients information, behavior, emotions Professionals working with trauma often experience reactions to clients stories Reaction influence by practitioners own family history and experience Thank you! QUESTIONS???

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