Transforming Trauma in Children and Adolescents: An Embodied Approach to Somatic Regulation, Trauma Processing, and Attachment-Building

Elizabeth Warner, Heather Finn, Anne Wescott, Bessel Van Der Kolk

Transforming Trauma in Children and Adolescents: An Embodied Approach to Somatic Regulation, Trauma Processing, and Attachment-Building
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Transforming Trauma in Children and Adolescents: An Embodied Approach to Somatic Regulation, Trauma Processing, and Attachment-Building

Elizabeth Warner, Heather Finn, Anne Wescott, Bessel Van Der Kolk

The SMART (Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment) program arms clinicians with the necessary tools and skills they need to help clients overcome maladaptive patterns resulting from childhood abuse, neglect, and other adverse experiences. Addressing three key processes that can be derailed by developmental trauma–regulation, processing, and attachment–the SMART program uses body regulation, movement, and sensation to target the neurological structures that support emotional and behavioral regulation. It shows therapists how to help clients manage their feelings and attend to normal developmental tasks like making friends, learning at school, learning to play by oneself and with others, and developing a sense of self that includes–but isn’t defined or consumed by–the trauma they’ve experienced. Transforming Trauma in Children and Adolescents introduces the foundations for SMART, including somatic regulation, arousal regulation, attachment building, and trauma processing. It teaches therapists the 8 key skills required for SMART mastery, and provides 8 regulation tools for clients. Enriched with case studies and recommended adaptations, it also includes resources for parents or other caregivers who want to provide ongoing supportive care outside the clinical setting.

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