Working with Childhood Trauma: Tools for Justice Professionals

Working with Childhood Trauma: Tools for Justice Professionals
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2020-05-05
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Working with Childhood Trauma
Unit 2 Transcript: Working with Childhood Trauma
Unit 3 Workbook: Working with Childhood Trauma
Unit 4 Recording: Working with Childhood Trauma

This is the third installment of Duane Bowers’ Child Trauma webinar series. It started with a course that covered a comprehensive introduction to childhood trauma. The second one provided guidelines when assessing trauma and its effects on children. In this final session, Duane ties it all up together by offering intervention tools and strategies to address trauma in children and get them to feel safe, in control, and have their voice be heard.


A Justice Clearinghouse regular, Duane Bowers is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Educator in private practice. He specialized in trauma and traumatic loss working with both survivors and their families. He provides organizational support, training, and supervision to various agencies in North America and wrote books on the subject titled Guiding Your Family Through Loss and Grief and A Child is Missing: Providing Support for Families of Missing Children.


Specifics Duane delved upon on this webinar include:

  • A recap of the first part of the series – touching on the qualities and basic components of trauma, traumatic response, the function and role of the limbic brain in trauma, intergenerational trauma, and adverse childhood experiences.
  • A refresher on the second installment – factors to consider when assessing childhood trauma, the impact of trauma to children, the various reactions to trauma, symptoms of traumatic response, and the emotions someone with trauma may manifest.
  • The main goal of any trauma intervention being to assist traumatized individuals to feel safe, be in control and be heard.
  • Available intervention methods that allow a child to enhance their sense of safety, identify their feelings, retell and take control of their stort, and overcome being caught in the right brain through bilateral processing.
  • The four levels of integration that we must address when it comes to childhood trauma – how the trauma impacted the child’s identity, activities, and feelings and how to make the child feel better after the experience.
  • The concept of projection as a method to get the children to communicate their feelings and help them work through it.
  • Strategies to help children de-stress through physical and mental activities, breathing and relaxation exercises, relationship and interaction, creative outlets and consumption of information, and creativity.
  • The five core elements of resilience that exhibit the importance of self-awareness, hope, coping skills, relationships, and personal perspective and meaning.
  • Family resilience emphasizes the role of the family and the environment the child is directly exposed to.
  • The important elements of commitment, cohesion, adaptability, communication, spirituality, time together, and family efficacy in providing the child with the support needed to overcome trauma.
  • Introducing mindfulness to kids to relieve them of depression from the past and anxiety of the future through exercises that allow them to focus at the moment.
  • Indicators of post-traumatic growth in children as better interactions, openness to new things, displaying strength and resiliency, and a sense of fulfillment and appreciation for life.
  • The steps in traumatic stress treatment that highlights:
    • Ensuring the child’s safety and basic needs.
    • Educating the child and the family about trauma and its effects.
    • Creating a sense of normalcy through routines.
    • Acknowledging the child’s feelings.
    • Supporting the child, their feelings, and those who provide support to the child.
    • Talking about the trauma and sharing the narrative to others to process it.
    • Compassionate and healing response to trauma.


Duane clarified points raised during the Q&A on:

  • How advocates, probation, and law enforcement can provide trauma support without crossing into practices of licensed clinicians.
  • Working through trauma with children brought about by the pandemic as we go into ‘the new normal’.
  • Reversing trauma brought about by epigenetics through treatment and environment.
  • How animals can provide emotional support to children with trauma.
  • The factors important to the assessment of trauma.
  • Resources for child-appropriate language.


This Webinar is Part of a Three-part Series


Audience Comments

  • “Great presenter, information was clear and concise, and the delivery was excellent.” — Ayanna
  • “I really enjoyed the discussing of the exercises and the techniques children can use to cope with their trauma and gain resilience.” — Anastacia
  • “I liked the perspective of the trainer on the topic. All the young adults I work with have experienced childhood abuse and or trauma. Trainings like this are a good reminder of the focus and viewpoints I need to have too.” — Arrow
  • “Great information and knowledge. I like the presenter’s way of presenting.” — Colinda
  • “I appreciated how Duane was able to simplify what feels like a scary, overwhelming concept without diminishing the importance of responding appropriately.” — Camille
  • “There was so much that I learned! But I feel the main theme he stated to take way was the three core issues of trauma: lack of control, lack of safety, and not being heard. His tools gave me more insight that connected straight back to those core issues. Duane is awesome, thank you!” — Kim
  • “As an advocate, this will be a great tool to use on a regular basis. Great webinar! So thorough and easy to follow.” — Angelina
  • “I found it not only pertinent to the clientele (youth) that I serve as a Probation Officer but this was also pertinent for me to understand about myself and other adults around me. Thank you for this training.” — Leslie


Additional Resources
1 year ago
Online Course: Understanding Trauma and Trauma Informed Responses
Trauma-Informed Work is providing service with the understanding that the client/witness/victim with […]
4 years ago
After the Webinar: Working with Childhood Trauma. Q&A with Duane Bowers
Webinar presenter Duane Bowers answered a number of your questions after his presentation, Working w […]
5 years ago
The Neurobiology and Traumatic Impact of Sexual Assault
Traversing a sexual violence case is tricky. When sexual assault survivors are asked to recount the […]
5 years ago
Untrue Medical Defenses in Abusive Head Trauma & How to deal with them
The investigation and prosecution of Abusive Head Trauma cases is fraught with perceived contradict […]
6 years ago
Children as Witnesses in Domestic Violence Cases: Law Enforcement Considerations (Part 1)
Domestic Violence can be a problematic case. The community might not want to meddle with such cases […]
7 years ago
Trauma Informed Work
  Trauma Informed Work is providing service with the understanding that the client/witness/v […]