Factors Associated with Good Outcomes When Children Have Experienced Complex Trauma


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Children who experience trauma often are subject to complex trauma, which is a series of difficult life events that interfere with attachment relationships and that threaten healthy development in a range of domains, including emotional, cognitive, sexual, social, and physical (Van der Kolk, 2005). Children learn to cope with, adapt to, and overcome the effects of trauma in the safety of secure relationships. The purpose of this powerpoint is to describe complex trauma, to show the importance of secure relationships, and to show factors associated with good social service outcomes when children have experienced complex trauma. Case materials bring the issues to life.

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Factors Associated with Good Outcomes When Children Have Experienced Complex Trauma

  1. 1. Factors Associated with Good Outcomes when Children have Experienced Complex Trauma Jane F. Gilgun, Ph.D., LICSW University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA 23 August 2014 jgilgun@umn.edu
  2. 2. Topics  Complex Trauma & Attachment Relationships  Trauma, the Brain, & Self-Regulation  Coping & Resilience  The Common Factors Model  A Case Study  Factors Associated with Good Outcomes  Discussion
  3. 3. Complex Trauma  What is trauma?  Children rarely experience a single trauma  Parents often have untreated trauma
  4. 4. Comple x Trauma Sexual Abuse Physical Abuse Witnessing Rape & Physical Assault of Mother Emotional Abuse & Physical Abuse Educational Neglect Physical & Medical Neglect Emotional Neglect
  5. 5. Neurobiology  Experiences encoded in brain circuits  Traumatic experiences not processed through the seat of reasoning, which is the prefrontal cortex
  6. 6. Four General Ways of Coping • Coping as Process • Resilience as Process • Requires corrective experiences
  7. 7. Memory Fragment: Hot Button Dysregulation Human Agency/Automatic Activation of Schemas Outcome Pro-social Anti-Social Self- destructivei Inappropriate Noxious Event Search for Coping Strategies
  8. 8. Resilience  Capacities to cope with, adapt to, and overcome adversities  Effective social service programs promote resilience  Marshall resources to deal with adversities
  9. 9. ACE  Services begin before age 10  Strategies: bring resources to children & families relationship most important resource  Goals: to promote optimal development and to keep kids out of juvenile justice system
  10. 10. The Common Factors Model  Extratherapeutic Factors (40%) [events external to service provision]  Relationships (30%)  Optimism, Motivation, Capacities (15%)  Skills, techniques (15%)
  11. 11. The ACE Children                                     Not ACE                         ACE   hi resources lo adversities lo resources hi adversities hi resources hi adversities lo resources lo adversities
  12. 12. Two Case Studies: Jacinta & Ian Jacinta and Ian
  13. 13. Factors Associated with Good Outcomes  Definition  Parents’ Actions  Secure Relationships  Effective Case Management  Deal Directly with Trauma  Resources  A Favorable External Environment
  14. 14. References Gil, Eliana & Jennifer A. Shaw (2013). Working with children with sexual behavior problems. New York: Guilford. Ford, Julian D., Damion Grasso, Carolyn Greene, Joan Levine, Joseph Spinazzola, & Bessel van der Kolk (2013). Clinical significance of a proposed developmental trauma disorder diagnosis: Results of an international survey of clinicians. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry , 74(8), 841-849. Gilgun, Jane F. (2012) The NEATS: A child & family assessment (2nd ed.). Amazon. Lieberman, Alicia F. (2007). Ghosts and angels: Intergenerational patterns in the transmission and treatment of the traumatic sequelae of domestic violence. Infant Mental Health Journal, 28(3), 422-439. Child Trauma Academy. http://childtrauma.org Child Trauma Research Program, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco. https://psych.ucsf.edu/research.aspx?id=1554 Circle of Security International. http://circleofsecurity.net National Child Traumatic Stress Network. https://www.google.com/ - q=national+child+traumatic+stress+network&revid=130123495 Trauma Institute & Child Trauma Institute. http://www.childtrauma.com