Build a Place of Comfort, Security and Joy

When a child has experienced relational trauma, they can feel surrounded by many frightening ghosts. Processing painful experiences and moving on from the past can take a lot of time and support.

Have patience to help them explore their fear and sadness – build their emotional resources and trust in your relationship. Nurture confidence that they can find comfort with you, have adventures, and find joy in the world. Leave the haunted house and build a castle to live in together, full of light, opportunity, and hope.

Gardening your soul

Healing requires that you be a gentle gardener of your soul. Nurture it with the sunshine of empathy, and water it with curiosity. Dig carefully for self-understanding. Tend to your roots and be sure to plant yourself in a place that gives you sustenance and shelter. Be open to the kindness of yourself and others and let this help you to grow strong.

Loss triggers loss.

‘If someone you love has gone, how can you ever feel whole again?’ asked the little Moffle.

‘Hold them in your heart and they’re never far away. They’ll see the sunset and hear the birdsong through your eyes and ears. They’re with you always’.

Today is an emotive day, as the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II is held in London. Whether or not you are a royalist, remember loss triggers loss. All thoughts and feelings are ok. They just are and they need no evaluation. Be PACE-ful and kind to yourself & others.

The power of Stories

Stories remind us that we are not alone. They create opportunities to explore, remember & forget, without fear. They give us hope to imagine different endings and better possible worlds.

  For children especially, the natural language for expressing feeling is through images & stories. It is so important to find ways to help our children articulate their stories & understand them.  We know that one of the indicators of good mental health is being able to hold a coherent narrative about your life – a joined up story that expresses the thoughts, feelings & motives of self & others in the story.

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All Things Pass

Try not to fear your emotions – they are the energy of life itself. Honour them all equally, with curiosity and acceptance. When we accept our own struggles and strong feelings, it’s easier to see others as dear souls doing the best they can. And remember, just like the weather or the rising & setting of the sun, everything is transient, nothing stays the same.

All we have is this moment, right here and now, so stay open to it, make peace with it, and experience it to the fullest. Remind yourself, this too will pass.

Healing Happens in Connection

Connectedness has the power to counterbalance adversity.

There is great comfort in understanding that trauma is not the event itself but the experience of the event. A child can find recovery & hope for the future when they have caring adults around them who help to make sense of their experience.

When together we explore what has happened in a safe and loving way, it enables the child to let go of fear, shame and self-blame. Gives them confidence that it’s ok to reach out & we will be there.

When a child feels supported by us, trauma loses its power to isolate, silence and hurt. Loving relationships are everything – healing happens in connection.

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Shame dies when stories are told in safe places.

Creating and sharing stories that help our children make sense of their lives really does help to reduce stress and anxiety. Helping them to recognise and name their thoughts and feelings, can create some distance between the emotion and the intense feelings and associations that go with it. As Dr Dan Seigel so helpfully and succinctly puts it – what’s shareable is bearable, and you’ve got to name it to tame it!