Showing posts from July, 2019

Bullying Prevention as a Trauma-Informed Approach

Article #4 of the IBPA Trauma Series First posted July 12, 2019
In using the lens of trauma, the effects of bullying are better understood for their widespread impact on all involved in a bullying situation. This lens then allows for a systems-level approach to bullying prevention through trauma-informed practices.
The foundation of trauma-informed practices is a safe and supportive school community where students have a strong sense of belonging. Dr. Caelan Soma and Derrick Allen of Starr Commonwealth have developed 10 steps for creating trauma-informed schools.  Provide school-wide childhood trauma awareness and understanding of how trauma impacts children’s learning and behavior. Any person can help students thrive when they understand the impact of stress and trauma on learning.View trauma as an experience rather than an incident or a diagnostic category. When bullying or any traumatic event occurs, it marks the beginning of an experience that may last for months or even years.Bel…

Viewing Bullying through the Lens of Trauma

Article 1 of the IBPA Trauma Series
Originally posted June 27, 2019
In August 2017, the US Department of Health and Human Services released Bullying as an Adverse Childhood Experience on its site. This fact sheet calls for all involved in bullying prevention efforts to have a strong understanding of trauma, to see the relationship between trauma and bullying, and to develop a shared vision of how bullying prevention might become a part of trauma-informed practices. 
What is trauma? Trauma is an experience that leaves a person feeling hopeless or helpless, perceiving a tremendous loss of safety and fear for survival. The details of a traumatic event itself are not important; instead, the focus must be on the way people experience the event.  When the brain perceives threat to safety, whether that threat is real or imagined, the most instinctual part of the brain (often called the reptilian brain) goes into survival mode. This powerful automatic response is often catego…