Communicating with Traumatised Children

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Reproduced with kind permission from Patrick Tomlinson.

This short version of the article was published first in the goodenoughcaring Journal in December 2013 and was the text of a lecture delivered to foster and residential worker in Japan in October, 2013.

This version was updated in August 2014.


“Communicating with a child is the most important task in facilitating healthy child development. This begins from birth and progresses and develops as the child matures. Often the communication is a joyful process with mutual satisfaction.

The process can also be challenging at times for the caregiver and child, and how they work through the challenges together is an important part of the development process. When a child is traumatised, perhaps not surprisingly, as trauma has been referred to as ‘Speechless Terror’, communication can become extremely difficult.

This paper will begin by exploring the nature of trauma and how it impacts on child development. It will explore some of the central themes of working with a traumatised child, especially different aspects of communication. Understanding and responding creatively to the child’s needs is key to restoring the child’s development and recovery from trauma.”


In: The goodenoughcaring Journal

Publisher: Good Enough Caring (Aug 2014)

Find/buy online at: Communicating with Traumatised Children

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