Benjamin Franklin once said; “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Nowhere is this axiom truer than in the field of children’s mental health. My years of education, training and experience as a school-based clinical social worker at The Guidance Center, working with children, their families and educators, has led me to realize the value of a trauma-informed lens.
This means I have an understanding of how the brain forms and functions in relation to the environment, and that many psychological, emotional, cognitive and behavioral impairments are directly related to early life traumas, stressors or adversity. It also means that I view these impairments not as the problem, but as symptoms of the real problem: a brain that has been shaped by its environment to be very stress reactive.
According to neuroscientist and pediatric psychiatrist Dr. Bruce Perry of the ChildTrauma Academy, the human brain is use-dependent. In other words, for the most part it becomes a reflection of what it has experienced. To learn language, the area of the brain for processing language must be stimulated by experiencing speech. To learn empathy, love and kindness, the brain must experience empathy, love and kindness. The list goes on and on.
[For more on this story by Nathan Swaringen, go to https://youthtoday.org/2019/02...formed-intervention/]