By Bessel A. van der Kolk
Brookline, Mass. – As a young psychiatrist, I worked with Vietnam War combat veterans and confronted the astonishing lack of resources to help these men and women who had sacrificed so much for their country. Three decades later, that situation has greatly improved. First, we named the problem — post-traumatic stress disorder — and then in 1989 Congress created the National Center for PTSD to help suffering veterans.
Their plight has also led to a greater recognition of the impact of violence on children. For every soldier returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with symptoms of depression or PTSD, there are around 10 children in the United States who are traumatized by exposure to family violence, sexual abuse, neglect and assault, with consequences comparable to those of adult exposure to war-zone violence. We have made progress in treating these children, but that progress is threatened by a drastic budget cut proposed by the White House.
By Giselle Shardlow Now more than ever, teaching mindfulness in the classroom is a necessity. Our children are stressed and anxious. Teachers and parents are stressed and anxious, too. Our lives are busy, [...]
By Jeanne Supin The “fight or flight” instinct has served the human species well, helping us respond quickly to threats, but according to child and adolescent psychiatrist and neuroscientist Bruce Perry it can [...]
By Maria Popova “A purely disembodied human emotion is a nonentity,” William James asserted in his revolutionary 1884 theory of how our bodies affect our feelings. Two generations later, Rilke wrote in a [...]
By Benjamin E. Saunders, PhD and Zachary W. Adams, PhD The epidemiology of traumatic experiences in childhood is a key context for research, clinical treatment, program management, and policy development. This article discusses [...]
By Lawrence Robinson, Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. If you’ve experienced an extremely stressful or disturbing event that’s left you feeling helpless and emotionally out of control, you may have been [...]