Surviving Childhood Trauma
The events of our childhoods shape us all. This recent article in the online popular press claims that around 50% of all children have been traumatised. It is hard to think that even in today’s world where we are more observant, tolerant and aware of the stresses created by angry outbursts and rage that such a large number of children are still affected by traumatic events.
Often this childhood trauma can become deep seated within a child’s consciousness. Even what adults might perceive as minor incidents can have a large impact on a child. When we experience trauma, often our mind forms an amnesic barrier around our memories to protect us from the harm replaying the event. However, this does not mean that the event simply disappears from our consciousness. It can sit at the back of our minds are dictate the way in which we handle our approach towards new situations, relationships and challenges.
To help overcome childhood trauma it is my opinion that CBT and mindfulness could be taught in schools as part of the National Curriculum to give children the life skills to become more psychologically flexible and emotionally resilient. Not only would this help children navigate any problems they may have outside of the educational establishment, but it would also give them the extra understanding to deal with examination stress, bullying and perspective within adolescent issues.
Mindfulness and CBT could be taught by sitting children in a circle and getting them to talk and open up about the stresses of modern life. In the first instance mindfulness could be taught in order to allow children to stay calm and deal with their problems in a rational manner without outbursts or anger. Helping young people to relate to one another and communicate effectively could also solve many of the problems within the classroom.
Alongside helping children at school it is difficult to underestimate the potential such therapies could have on the society of the future. Social work, custodial care and even the NHS may be able to save money due to the reductions in behavioural problems. If people are able to manage their stress and difficulties in a sensible way that allows them to recognise and alleviate emotional pressure then it could reduce levels of alcoholism, domestic and family violence and make a different to the UK’s social climate.
If you think that your childhood may have been fraught with traumatic events that are still affecting your life now, or if you have been suffering anxieties or difficulties from an early age there is a very good possibility that CBT can help you. By creating new ways of looking at your situation and giving you new strategies for dealing and coping with your entrenched behaviours.