Helping communities after a shooting or terrorism

Peter A. Levine, PhD Author of Trauma Proofing Your Kids, shares advice for parents on how to help their community after a shooting or other traumatic event
Family Crisis Tips | Helping Communities After A Shooting Or Terrorism
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Helping communities after a shooting or terrorism

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Unfortunately we live at a time when event like school shootings and terrorist attacks are occurring. Not only are they occurring but they are on the media. They are on television replayed over and over again. One of the things that's really important, because younger children especially, they can't tell a difference between something happening over and over again or just seeing the same thing replayed on the television. So, it's very important to not expose children to the constant barrage from the news and from the other TV things. The most important thing that we can do is to let our children know that we are here to protect. That the police are there also to protect us. That fireman and other people are there to protect us. And it's okay for children to feel scared. What we suggest is, that when they're scared, hat they notice where in their body they feel the fear. What's the physical sensation. And then just allowing the sensation to move through. I remember a young child I've worked with after a drowning. And he had a real big tummy ache. So I had his mother put her hands on his tummy and ask them to see what was inside. And he felt a big knot. But then, as she said, "Okay. Is there any picture that comes when you see the knot?", and he said, "Oh. It's dark, and black, and yucky." And then, "What do you notice now? Does the color change? Does the feeling in your tummy change?". And the child said, "Oh, it's turning yellow. It's like a sun. I feel warm inside.". And that's it. You see, because that's that natural, that innate capacity we have to move through difficult situations. If we can learn to attend to the wisdom of our body.

Peter A. Levine, PhD Author of Trauma Proofing Your Kids, shares advice for parents on how to help their community after a shooting or other traumatic event

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Peter A. Levine, PhD

Author of Trauma Proofing Your Kids & Developer of Somatic Experiencing

Peter A. Levine, PhD, holds doctorates in both medical biophysics and psychology. He is the developer of Somatic Experiencing, a body-awareness approach to healing trauma, and founder of the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, which conducts trainings in this work throughout the world. Dr. Levine was a stress consultant for NASA on the development of the space shuttle project. Levine’s international best-seller, Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, has been translated into 24 languages. Levine’s contribution was honored in 2010 when he received the Lifetime Achievement award  Recognizing Outstanding Professionals in the Field of Child/Adolescent Mental Health from the Reiss-Davis Child Study Center.

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