The Simple Guide to Child Trauma: What it is and How to Help

By Betsy de Thierry Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016, ISBN-13: 978-1785921360, 80 pages, $14.95 Providing straightforward answers to these complex questions, “The Simple Guide to Child Trauma” is the perfect starting point for any adult caring for or working with a child who has experienced trauma. It will help them to understand more about a child’s emotional and behavioral responses following trauma and provides welcome strategies to aid recovery. Reassuring advice will also rejuvenate adults’ abilities to face the challenges of supporting children. What this “simple guide” does elegantly and quickly is bring a large amount of research — from psychology, social work, neuroscience, biochemistry and genetics — directly to the busy but interested professionals, parents and carers working in this field. It translates complex ideas into “practice-rich” language for adults who need to understand the inner worlds of children, rather than simply explore their “wishes and feelings.” — From the foreword by Professor David Shemmings OBE When a person has been hurt in a relationship, they can only be healed in a relationship. When I read the above sentence in this book within the first 10 pages, I was grinning from ear to ear and shouting “YES!” quietly to myself. This powerful message is being heard around the world! The key to healing trauma is through purposeful, intentional and mindful relationships. What an honor to find a book that so succinctly explains the importance of helping caregivers recognize the importance of being present while practicing their own self-regulation. This book offers hope so that our children can and will fully benefit from healthy and appropriate connections that will enhance the process of healing. In this useful, encouraging and hopeful little book, Betsy de Thierry recognizes both the need to advocate for those children and youth who have experienced trauma and how to support the caregivers through practical knowledge and interventions. This gem is easy to read and uses language free of jargon. It contains helpful suggestions that could be used in both professional and home settings. Emphasizing the need for compassionate, relational responses to these often misunderstood children who communicate through behaviors, de Thierry offers an array of practical strategies and insights to enable and enhance those responses through a lens based on the power of connection and relationship. Even if you have a basic understanding of how the brain works, this book will support you in how to respond to children calmly and from a place of love and connection even when you don’t understand the reasons behind the behavior. The author’s conversational style translates the neuroscience of trauma into supportive, concrete steps that any helping adult can apply to the children in his or her life. Empathy for the reader and patience for these vulnerable youth are ever-present as de Thierry herself models the healing power of relationships. — Denise Rice, MSW, LCSW, LAC, has been collaborating, training, supporting and partnering with those in child welfare and mental health for more than 18 years. Whether as a local and national trainer/presenter, therapist, consultant, crisis assessment specialist, or frontline worker, Rice’s mission is to share the message have hope! Honor healing! Practice peace! For any additional information or if interested in having her present a training/workshop, contact her at [email protected]. Rice lives in Colorado Springs with her two fur babies.  

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