The difference between trauma and grief

Maggie Kline, LMFT School Psychologist & Therapist, shares advice for parents on how to differentiate between trauma and grief in your child and how to help your child through either one
The Difference Between Trauma And Grief In Children
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The difference between trauma and grief

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I'm really glad to talk about the difference between trauma and grief. Because most parents, and even professionals, don't understand the difference. Trauma affects the child's physiology. The nervous system. So, it affects, for instance, their sleep, the ability to digest their food, their anxiety level. Even their temperature. Where grief is something that has do to with loss. And its work through at the emotional level. The level of sad, mad, glad. So, they can work with the grief. Suppose a parent died, or a grandparent died, or a pet, they can talk about all the good times they had. And also about the fact that they're angry that that person is gone. And they can be supported with all other feelings. It's not unusual to, first of all for a child, to not feel like it's real. To feel like they're in shock. Then it's a trauma. And a parent can help the child to come back and feel grounded. And start to release the shock of the death.

Maggie Kline, LMFT School Psychologist & Therapist, shares advice for parents on how to differentiate between trauma and grief in your child and how to help your child through either one

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Maggie Kline, LMFT

School Psychologist & Therapist

Maggie Kline has been a marriage, family, and child therapist for almost 30 years, and is a retired school psychologist.  After beginning her professional career as a teacher in 1970, Maggie has continued to garner vast experience with children of all ages from pre-schoolers through teens. She uses Somatic Experiencing (SE) with individuals, couples and families in psychotherapy. She also integrates SE with art, dream work and play when helping youngsters recover from trauma. Maggie is a senior faculty member for the SE Trauma Institute, currently teaching on five continents. She has co-authored two books (listed below) with Peter A. Levine which have been translated into 11 languages,  and has also written "It Won't Hurt Forever", which was published in Mothering  Magazine in 2002.  Most recently, Maggie has originated two seminars for professionals who help traumatized children:  "SE for Kids, A Games-Based Approach" and "Conscious Connections, Providing Reparative Opportunities for Healthy Attachment". She has presented her work in schools and agencies, at conferences, and in mass disaster settings such as the Southeast Asian Tsunami and the Oslo Massacre.

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