Artwork for podcast Roadmap to Joy: A Mental Health Podcast
Childhood Trauma: Understanding, Supporting, and Healing for Parents and Caregivers
Episode 1318th October 2023 • Roadmap to Joy: A Mental Health Podcast • Embark Behavioral Heatlh
00:00:00 01:03:09

Share Episode

Shownotes

Childhood trauma can have a lasting impact on a child's mental and physical health. Learn how parents and caregivers can create a safe and supportive environment to help them heal on this episode of Roadmap to Joy. Baaba Hawthorne, executive director of Embark Behavioral Health in West Los Angeles, California, and Stephanie Lucas, clinical director of Embark Behavioral Health in Bend, Oregon, debunk misconceptions about trauma and provide strategies for parents and caregivers to support children who have experienced trauma.  

They emphasize the importance of consistency, mirroring emotions, and modeling healthy coping skills. They also discuss the role of resilience in a child's ability to recover from trauma and highlight the need for mental health education and support in schools. They address the cultural implications of trauma and provide guidance on navigating these sensitively. Finally, they discuss the importance of self-care for parents and caregivers and the need for collaboration within the caregiving team. 

Blogs for Parents:

Videos for Parents:

Connect with Embark on Social Media:

Have a question for our experts? We want to hear from you! Submit your questions to: askatherapist@embarkbh.com.

About Our Experts:

Baaba Hawthorne, M.A., LMFT is the Executive Director of our Embark Behavioral Health West LA Outpatient Clinic. She holds a BA in psychology with an emphasis in human sexuality from California State University, Northridge and earned her master’s in clinical psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family therapy from Pepperdine University. She comes from a strong clinical background working with teens, adults and families specializing in addiction, trauma and multi-cultural counseling. In her recent years, Baaba has used her clinical background as a foundation for leadership. Previously inhabiting the roles of Clinical Director and Director of Outreach, Baaba has a passion for building programs and establishing partnerships within the Los Angeles community. Representation matters and Baaba is excited to bring the exceptional services of Embark Behavioral Health to the diverse community of Los Angeles. In her free time Baaba loves to travel internationally, learn about new cultures through food and music and enjoys spending the day at the beach with friends and family. 

 

Stephanie Lucas, LMFT, is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor I and EMDRIA certified in EMDR. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon Couple and Family Therapy program and has a long history of work as a life coach, residential and outpatient counselor for children, adolescents, adults and families during her 13 years in the field. Most recently she owned a small private practice in Bend for seven years, specializing in systemic therapy and trauma before stepping into the role of Clinical Director with Embark. She utilizes EMDR, IFS and SFT to empower clients and families towards growth and healing. Stephanie is a lifelong Oregonian and wouldn’t have it any other way. When not in the office, you can find her in her garden or playing outside with her husband and two young girls. 

About Embark Behavioral Health

Embark has been helping people overcome behavioral health issues that may be affecting their everyday lives for over 25 years.   

Conditions We Treat Include:  

The Embark team has some of the most compassionate and educated professionals in the industry. Its core purpose is to create joy and heal generations. Embark’s big hairy audacious goal is to lead the way in driving teen and young adult anxiety, depression, and suicide from the all-time highs of today to all-time lows by 2028. Exceptional treatment options, like short-term residential care, makes Embark the world's most respected family behavioral health provider.   

Check out our locations.

Transcripts

Baaba Hawthorne:

Hello, welcome, everybody. Welcome to the

Baaba Hawthorne:

Roadmap to Joy. I'm really, really excited to be a part of

Baaba Hawthorne:

this. My name is Baaba Hawthorne. I am an LMFT. And I'm

Baaba Hawthorne:

also the executive director for Embark outpatient clinic in West

Baaba Hawthorne:

LA. And I have the honor and the privilege of being your host for

Baaba Hawthorne:

this episode. I also have a wonderful co star. Her name is

Baaba Hawthorne:

Stephanie Lucas. She is a clinical director at one of our

Baaba Hawthorne:

programs in Bend, Oregon. And so I'll go ahead and have Stephanie

Baaba Hawthorne:

introduce herself.

Stephanie Lucas:

Yeah, hi, everybody. Thank you Baaba. Like

Stephanie Lucas:

Baaba said, I'm the clinical director up in Bend, Oregon at

Stephanie Lucas:

our residential treatment facility. I'm also certified in

Stephanie Lucas:

EMDR, and an LMFT, as well. So I've been working a long time

Stephanie Lucas:

and childhood trauma. And I'm excited to get talking with you

Stephanie Lucas:

about that today.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Well, today, I'm Stephanie and I will be

Baaba Hawthorne:

talking about childhood trauma, that this is a topic that is

Baaba Hawthorne:

really important and near and dear to our hearts as mental

Baaba Hawthorne:

health professionals, but Embark as a whole. And so I'm looking

Baaba Hawthorne:

forward to just opening the conversation about what is

Baaba Hawthorne:

trauma, dive into some different misconceptions, talk a little

Baaba Hawthorne:

bit about strategies or things that we can do to support our

Baaba Hawthorne:

children and, and their development and really tackle

Baaba Hawthorne:

childhood trauma in a holistic way. So I'm excited to be able

Baaba Hawthorne:

to dive in with you all listeners. So Stephanie, why

Baaba Hawthorne:

don't you start us off and just tell us a little bit about what

Baaba Hawthorne:

is trauma to give us a baseline around what it might be?

Stephanie Lucas:

For sure. One of the concepts we've talked

Stephanie Lucas:

about in EMDR, specifically, is this idea of big T and little T

Stephanie Lucas:

trauma. And I know that that concept is out in the rest of

Stephanie Lucas:

the world to a lot of people when they think of trauma, think

Stephanie Lucas:

of big T trauma, which is a big event, it might be a car crash

Stephanie Lucas:

house burning down a dog dying, and assault, all of those things

Stephanie Lucas:

are kind of episodic, they happen they have a start and an

Stephanie Lucas:

end, right. Oftentimes, what we see in our office is actually

Stephanie Lucas:

little T trauma, which are little things that can hurt that

Stephanie Lucas:

happen over and over and over again. And they really changed

Stephanie Lucas:

the way that we think about who we are. And when we're thinking

Stephanie Lucas:

about kids, we really have to broaden our perspective of what

Stephanie Lucas:

hurts? And what does it mean to be who we are? And what does it

Stephanie Lucas:

mean to be safe because kids have a very limited concept of

Stephanie Lucas:

that. So sometimes when we're thinking about childhood trauma,

Stephanie Lucas:

we really have to broaden our window and look at those

Stephanie Lucas:

experiences that happen when we're little and how they can

Stephanie Lucas:

really shape the person that we become and the way that our body

Stephanie Lucas:

learns to keep ourselves safe.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Definitely, I love that I love the way that

Baaba Hawthorne:

you explain the difference between how children kind of

Baaba Hawthorne:

experience trauma. So thank you for highlighting that. I want to

Baaba Hawthorne:

hear from you some of the misconceptions about childhood

Baaba Hawthorne:

trauma, and then simultaneously, how can we debunk some of those

Baaba Hawthorne:

misconceptions.

Stephanie Lucas:

One of the things I see in my office a lot

Stephanie Lucas:

is parents feeling like they don't want to acknowledge that

Stephanie Lucas:

their child has trauma, or they don't feel the need to bring it

Stephanie Lucas:

up because they feel like it's their fault. And if we say that

Stephanie Lucas:

your kid has trauma, that means you did something wrong, or you

Stephanie Lucas:

messed up. And it's so much bigger than that. And it's so

Stephanie Lucas:

different and harder to conceptualize than just mom or

Stephanie Lucas:

dad did something wrong parent caregiver did something wrong,

Stephanie Lucas:

right. That's one of the misconceptions I feel really

Stephanie Lucas:

passionate about debunking is that the idea that you've done

Stephanie Lucas:

something wrong, or you messed up, and it's your fault that

Stephanie Lucas:

your child is having this reaction. Trauma is a really

Stephanie Lucas:

broad spectrum. Trauma is a really complex thing. And so

Stephanie Lucas:

it's okay to note that there are traumatic experiences without us

Stephanie Lucas:

coming in and telling parents Oh, well, that's your fault,

Stephanie Lucas:

right? That's a big one for me. I don't know about but if you

Stephanie Lucas:

have any common ones that you see,

Baaba Hawthorne:

yeah, definitely. I think also, with

Baaba Hawthorne:

the difference between big T and little T's people don't always

Baaba Hawthorne:

understand how impactful the little T traumas are. And so for

Baaba Hawthorne:

those listeners who may not understand, like the big T's

Baaba Hawthorne:

like we're thinking of, you know, assaults can be one of

Baaba Hawthorne:

them or like huge medical trauma, breaking and entering

Baaba Hawthorne:

right, a really scary, impactful event. But the little T is

Baaba Hawthorne:

really centered around relationships. And so I think,

Baaba Hawthorne:

when working with parents and families I've noticed,

Baaba Hawthorne:

especially, you know, working with families of color, the

Baaba Hawthorne:

little T's are more prevalent and sometimes really harder to

Baaba Hawthorne:

explain culturally right because some of those little T's will be

Baaba Hawthorne:

indicative of someone's culture and their upbringing in their

Baaba Hawthorne:

environment. And so in, in my work as as a black therapist,

Baaba Hawthorne:

but you know, treating all but really love working with

Baaba Hawthorne:

families of color. I think that's what I experienced most

Baaba Hawthorne:

and having a hard time debugging around the little T's and just

Baaba Hawthorne:

just proving that like little T is trauma, if that

Stephanie Lucas:

makes sense. Yeah, I can imagine those little

Stephanie Lucas:

T traumas if you're in a marginalized population, that

Stephanie Lucas:

that maybe it's just the story of like, well, that's normal,

Stephanie Lucas:

right? That's life of like, that's how we've gotten through.

Stephanie Lucas:

And it makes total sense that when we start calling that

Stephanie Lucas:

trauma, there might be some pushback to that.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Yes. I'm curious for you, Stephanie, how

Baaba Hawthorne:

do you help parents? Let go of some guilt around the fact that,

Baaba Hawthorne:

you know, it's my fault. I, you know, hearing you talk, I'm

Baaba Hawthorne:

thinking a little bit about the narratives that parents pick up,

Baaba Hawthorne:

right, that Oh, no, it is my fault, that my child has

Baaba Hawthorne:

experienced a big T or a little T, right? And that guilt can

Baaba Hawthorne:

kind of keep them stuck. And so wanting to hear from you, how do

Baaba Hawthorne:

you help parents let go of the guilt so that they're able to be

Baaba Hawthorne:

more present and productive to support their kiddos,

Stephanie Lucas:

I come at it from a few different angles. So

Stephanie Lucas:

I like to try and talk about all of the different options that

Stephanie Lucas:

happen when this trauma took place, right? We had to line up

Stephanie Lucas:

biology and circumstances and the people in your world and

Stephanie Lucas:

around you for all of those things to happen so that this

Stephanie Lucas:

brain had this reaction, right. And it was really the brain just

Stephanie Lucas:

not feeling safe. And parents aren't in control of all of

Stephanie Lucas:

that, right? They could have had a big T trauma. But on that day,

Stephanie Lucas:

they were surrounded by people they loved, they were able to

Stephanie Lucas:

get good sleep, they were able to co regulate with a caregiver.

Stephanie Lucas:

And that big T trauma doesn't lodge as PTSD or something that

Stephanie Lucas:

has to be carried forward. Right? On the flip side, if

Stephanie Lucas:

they're really lonely all the time, and they don't have a

Stephanie Lucas:

caregiver who's really attuned to them, and they're being told

Stephanie Lucas:

they're stupid everyday at school, that collage is a huge

Stephanie Lucas:

trauma, right. And it's just that coagulation of the things

Stephanie Lucas:

in their lives, that really come together to create, however,

Stephanie Lucas:

that that specific child is going to react to those things

Stephanie Lucas:

and kind of alleviating, you don't have control over all of

Stephanie Lucas:

those things, right. Maybe you're one human who is also

Stephanie Lucas:

providing for your family and can't be there every second of

Stephanie Lucas:

the day, and can't control the educators and all of those

Stephanie Lucas:

things. Another way I like to think about is like, they're

Stephanie Lucas:

also our largest tool for healing. Even if they played a

Stephanie Lucas:

part in that trauma, they are the person we are most able to

Stephanie Lucas:

work with to help heal it. And that's actually really powerful

Stephanie Lucas:

and really wonderful. And I really try and build up that

Stephanie Lucas:

strength, because working together and collaborating is

Stephanie Lucas:

going to give their kid what they need, which was their

Stephanie Lucas:

ultimate goal to begin with.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Yeah, I mean, I'm so glad you said that,

Baaba Hawthorne:

because what stood out to me is the word resilience, you know,

Baaba Hawthorne:

recognizing that those who are a part of you know, this kid's

Baaba Hawthorne:

life can also be a part of their healing and their journey. And I

Baaba Hawthorne:

think, you know, to your point that helps with the guilt, you

Baaba Hawthorne:

know, you're like, oh, my gosh, I unintentionally, may or may

Baaba Hawthorne:

not have contributed or been a part of that little tea, right.

Baaba Hawthorne:

But that doesn't take away the fact that you can't be a part of

Baaba Hawthorne:

that repair, and supporting them through their healing journey.

Baaba Hawthorne:

So that feels very empowering. And so giving back to the

Baaba Hawthorne:

parents, their power, I think, is another way to help reduce

Baaba Hawthorne:

some of that guilt. I'm curious to hear your perspective,

Baaba Hawthorne:

Stephanie, on what impact can childhood trauma have on a

Baaba Hawthorne:

child's physical health, and then mental health in the long

Baaba Hawthorne:

term.

Stephanie Lucas:

Maybe I'll take physical and you can take mental

Stephanie Lucas:

will turn show it. I love it. That's one thing that I really

Stephanie Lucas:

highlight, especially the younger the kid, the younger,

Stephanie Lucas:

the trauma, the more we're going to see that manifest in the

Stephanie Lucas:

body. And that can look like difficulty sleeping that can

Stephanie Lucas:

look like problems with toileting that can look like

Stephanie Lucas:

panic attacks that can look like digestive issues, even like

Stephanie Lucas:

eczema, hair falling out things that you wouldn't necessarily

Stephanie Lucas:

normally associate with trauma. The younger we are, the more our

Stephanie Lucas:

body is what holds that when we're doing EMDR. And we get

Stephanie Lucas:

down to what we call the relay touch point or the exile. When

Stephanie Lucas:

we get down to that really soft core middle. Oftentimes, if it's

Stephanie Lucas:

a really young trauma, they go nonverbal even as an adult when

Stephanie Lucas:

they're reprocessing, right, they're just feeling it in their

Stephanie Lucas:

body. They're having a hot flash or they're feeling dizzy or they

Stephanie Lucas:

feel like they're falling back into their chair. And that for

Stephanie Lucas:

me is a sign that that was just a really young trauma. And so we

Stephanie Lucas:

think when we're seeing some of these makes physical

Stephanie Lucas:

manifestations of trauma, recognizing that, okay, your

Stephanie Lucas:

brain was really just developing these parts of what was going on

Stephanie Lucas:

for you. So it makes sense that that trauma is lodged in that

Stephanie Lucas:

place for you as well.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Yeah, definitely. I love I love that.

Baaba Hawthorne:

I am thinking a little bit about how that connects to the mental

Baaba Hawthorne:

health affects long term. And yeah, for someone who's

Baaba Hawthorne:

developing so fast and so rapidly, to have experienced a

Baaba Hawthorne:

trauma and having those physical symptoms come in, coming up.

Baaba Hawthorne:

There's a lot of anxiety that they're experiencing. And what

Baaba Hawthorne:

that can look like, is just rumination in thoughts, right?

Baaba Hawthorne:

And sometimes, that can also cross over into some

Baaba Hawthorne:

compulsions, right. And so you see some OCD behaviors coming

Baaba Hawthorne:

up. Also generalized anxiety, right, worrying about everything

Baaba Hawthorne:

and anything because, you know, trauma is an interruption in

Baaba Hawthorne:

safety. Whether it's a physical safety, mental, emotional,

Baaba Hawthorne:

right, their safety, their world, what they thought has

Baaba Hawthorne:

been disrupted by this specific event. And so overcompensating

Baaba Hawthorne:

mentally to keep yourself safe. And so a lot of anxieties coming

Baaba Hawthorne:

up. And then of course, that affects how you view yourself

Baaba Hawthorne:

and how you view others, right? Maybe a narrative of the world

Baaba Hawthorne:

is not safe. That's coming up. So how do I protect myself? I've

Baaba Hawthorne:

worked with, you know, gang populations before. And so I see

Baaba Hawthorne:

that a lot, right, like they coming into the world

Baaba Hawthorne:

experiencing childhood trauma, and thinking that this is what I

Baaba Hawthorne:

need to keep myself safe to keep my neighborhood safe to keep

Baaba Hawthorne:

others safe, right, I need to be in this tough, aggressive, you

Baaba Hawthorne:

know, type community to make sure that nobody takes away my

Baaba Hawthorne:

safety, and depression and self esteem, right? That how

Baaba Hawthorne:

exhausting I mean, can you imagine some of the things that

Baaba Hawthorne:

Stephanie was talking about, that a kiddo is experiencing in

Baaba Hawthorne:

their body, they're going to be sad about it, but they can't

Baaba Hawthorne:

play as much as they want to, or can't have a sleepover, because

Baaba Hawthorne:

they're having, you know, difficulty going using the

Baaba Hawthorne:

restroom, you know, and you races, different things of that

Baaba Hawthorne:

nature. And so having the physical symptoms just be so

Baaba Hawthorne:

prevalent, that definitely does have an effect on their mental

Baaba Hawthorne:

health. So yeah, physical and mentally, I think is something

Baaba Hawthorne:

that, you know, trauma can can really impact.

Stephanie Lucas:

One of the things that you were talking

Stephanie Lucas:

about that I know, we're thinking about how can we best

Stephanie Lucas:

support parents in identifying this and working with this,

Stephanie Lucas:

right, I know in Embark we talked about the lid flip, which

Stephanie Lucas:

is a concept all over, you know, Child Mental Health. But

Stephanie Lucas:

thinking about how can we support parents and families in

Stephanie Lucas:

identifying those triggers to the lid flip when our brain is

Stephanie Lucas:

online? Right? It's all working. And we can determine whether or

Stephanie Lucas:

not we're really safe. And then maybe we have those triggers of

Stephanie Lucas:

feeling unsafe, whatever they are, that really tap into that

Stephanie Lucas:

trauma network. And when that networks been activated, our

Stephanie Lucas:

brain goes offline, and then all we're thinking about is how do I

Stephanie Lucas:

stay safe? And that's when our fight flight freeze kicks in.

Stephanie Lucas:

Right? And so helping parents to really recognize that process

Stephanie Lucas:

for their kiddo, like, what is the ramp up look like? How do I

Stephanie Lucas:

know that that this has been flipped? How do I help that

Stephanie Lucas:

lead, come back down, and realize that they're not going

Stephanie Lucas:

to really be rationed with when that brain is offline, that we

Stephanie Lucas:

really just have to help them feel safe, right? That's what

Stephanie Lucas:

they're looking for. Whether that's physical safety,

Stephanie Lucas:

psychological safety, creating an environment where we can

Stephanie Lucas:

create that for them, because we recognize that their brain has

Stephanie Lucas:

been really activated and that trauma response is happening.

Stephanie Lucas:

Maybe they're kicking us, maybe they're running away, and maybe

Stephanie Lucas:

they're totally shut down and unable to speak and just crying.

Stephanie Lucas:

Those are all signs that that brain is really in that fight or

Stephanie Lucas:

flight mode. And the best thing that we can do is just be that

Stephanie Lucas:

gentle presence and recognize that they're, they're working on

Stephanie Lucas:

getting their brain back online. And arguing it's not helpful

Stephanie Lucas:

reasoning isn't really helpful until they're on the other side

Stephanie Lucas:

of that.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Definitely, I think you put it perfectly to

Baaba Hawthorne:

transition us into the next, you know, topic of like how parents

Baaba Hawthorne:

and caregivers can create a safe and supportive environment for

Baaba Hawthorne:

children who have experienced trauma. And so what stands out

Baaba Hawthorne:

to me about that is consistency. I think we neglect how important

Baaba Hawthorne:

being consistent as a parent and a caregiver is right, you don't

Baaba Hawthorne:

have to be right all the time. There is no such thing as being

Baaba Hawthorne:

perfect. And I think the best thing that you can do is be

Baaba Hawthorne:

consistent. There's no bigger disappointment when you think

Baaba Hawthorne:

something is there, and you can't count on it to be there

Baaba Hawthorne:

every single time. That too is an interruption of safety.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Right. And so if you're dealing with a kid that has experienced

Baaba Hawthorne:

Childhood Trauma, constantly showing up for them, and

Baaba Hawthorne:

whatever way is best is going to be really, really helpful to

Baaba Hawthorne:

help them be safe again. And then I think also mirroring,

Baaba Hawthorne:

which is making sure your emotions are congruent with how

Baaba Hawthorne:

you're feeling your facial expressions, right. And so, you

Baaba Hawthorne:

know, if you are angry, I think in an appropriate way, you know,

Baaba Hawthorne:

be able to show and mirror different ranges of emotions for

Baaba Hawthorne:

kids, so that they too can give themselves permission to feel

Baaba Hawthorne:

afraid, or to feel sad or to feel anxious. And also, modeling

Baaba Hawthorne:

that behavior with, you know, healthy coping skills, right.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Like, I always think about when I babysit, you know, little

Baaba Hawthorne:

kiddos in my life always like, yeah, Auntie needs a timeout

Baaba Hawthorne:

right now, because she's very overwhelmed. So we're gonna take

Baaba Hawthorne:

a deep breath, and we're gonna count to five, can you count to

Baaba Hawthorne:

five with me? Right? When I'm modeling that, you know, it's

Baaba Hawthorne:

okay for me to have emotions and feel overwhelmed, but also

Baaba Hawthorne:

mirroring, like, what they're seeing and what I'm seeing too,

Baaba Hawthorne:

as well, I think that's really important. What about you,

Baaba Hawthorne:

Stephanie? Any thoughts around how parents and caregivers can

Baaba Hawthorne:

create a safe supportive environment?

Stephanie Lucas:

Yeah, I think I probably have a little bit of a

Stephanie Lucas:

pivot on that, because I do work in residential, right? Kids come

Stephanie Lucas:

and live with us, for 60 to 90 days. And so we take a really

Stephanie Lucas:

holistic approach on that. And we really go hard for the CO

Stephanie Lucas:

regulation. So we teach all of our staff, and all of our

Stephanie Lucas:

therapists and all of our therapists work with our

Stephanie Lucas:

parents, we actually our facility has a specific parent

Stephanie Lucas:

coach for this because we work with a 10 to 14 age, which is a

Stephanie Lucas:

fabulous resource, we love having her. And so what co

Stephanie Lucas:

regulation means is that I can be in control of my body and my

Stephanie Lucas:

emotions in the space that you're in. And so when we get

Stephanie Lucas:

kids who are dysregulated, hiding in the closet, trying to

Stephanie Lucas:

run away talking about how they don't want to be here anymore,

Stephanie Lucas:

everyone on that campus is ready to sit and just be with them,

Stephanie Lucas:

and be calm and tell them that we're there and that we're

Stephanie Lucas:

committed to being there. And that and, and then we're

Stephanie Lucas:

teaching parents to be able to do the same thing, right? It's

Stephanie Lucas:

so hard for parents, especially if you have a kid who's had to

Stephanie Lucas:

have a residential placement, where you just feel so

Stephanie Lucas:

frustrated, and like we've done this 4 million times, like Can

Stephanie Lucas:

we just not today, right? gives them that breather. And it gives

Stephanie Lucas:

them that chance to get the reset and really reset their own

Stephanie Lucas:

nervous system, because they may have some trauma, right, from

Stephanie Lucas:

having to try and help this kiddo who's really, really

Stephanie Lucas:

struggling, gives them the chance to breathe, and to learn

Stephanie Lucas:

how to co regulate and feel supported as well. And seeing

Stephanie Lucas:

the need underneath maybe the words and the behaviors that are

Stephanie Lucas:

coming out. The other thing that we see a lot in residential that

Stephanie Lucas:

I would love to just really help help parents support around is

Stephanie Lucas:

naming a feeling. I know it feels really basic and really

Stephanie Lucas:

simple. But so many kids will land in our facility and not

Stephanie Lucas:

understand the feelings that are going on in their body. Right?

Stephanie Lucas:

Their stomach is flipping or their muscles are so wiggly, and

Stephanie Lucas:

they just don't know how to name that. And so they do shut down

Stephanie Lucas:

and they do really struggle with how do I tell people what I

Stephanie Lucas:

need? Because I don't know what I need, because I don't know

Stephanie Lucas:

what I'm feeling, right? Who even does that really basic

Stephanie Lucas:

model language of that mind body connection, being able to say

Stephanie Lucas:

what feeling or feeling and then even then being able to leap

Stephanie Lucas:

into what you need is huge, huge baseline work for kids with

Stephanie Lucas:

trauma especially.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Yeah, yeah. I love that. Thank you so much. To

Baaba Hawthorne:

touch on a little bit of what you talked about. I want to

Baaba Hawthorne:

highlight residential and your program and what that looks

Baaba Hawthorne:

like. So for listeners who may not be familiar with the

Baaba Hawthorne:

residential for kiddos in your program, I would love for you to

Baaba Hawthorne:

talk a little bit about that amazing things that you're doing

Baaba Hawthorne:

to to help create join heal generations for our kiddos.

Stephanie Lucas:

Yeah, absolutely. I am a recent return

Stephanie Lucas:

to residential. So I in my very early mental health career, was

Stephanie Lucas:

able to work at the life coach level, which is the person who's

Stephanie Lucas:

waking the kid up and helping them get their teeth brushed and

Stephanie Lucas:

get off to school and then went back to grad school for family

Stephanie Lucas:

therapy because I saw how important family therapy was for

Stephanie Lucas:

that specific experience. And then I worked at a different

Stephanie Lucas:

residential facility as a counselor and then did

Stephanie Lucas:

outpatient for a while in private practice while I had

Stephanie Lucas:

kiddos and now I'm back as a clinical director. So to be able

Stephanie Lucas:

to see that full spectrum and say what is residential do right

Stephanie Lucas:

residential gives both kids and parents the opportunity to

Stephanie Lucas:

breathe to really look at at what's happening while we do the

Stephanie Lucas:

job of keeping your kiddos safe. So I know Embark has a whole

Stephanie Lucas:

spectrum of residential facilities, mine specifically

Stephanie Lucas:

works with girls, trans girls and non binary individuals from

Stephanie Lucas:

10 to 14. And then there's a lot of other specialty areas within

Stephanie Lucas:

Embark. But we will take that population, and we will hold

Stephanie Lucas:

them and keep them safe and work on school and they get two

Stephanie Lucas:

therapy Sessions a week, and they get two groups a day. And

Stephanie Lucas:

they're in a community, they can work on their social skills,

Stephanie Lucas:

they can work on their regulation skills, and we

Stephanie Lucas:

monitor them 24/7 To keep them safe, while they're working on

Stephanie Lucas:

the bigger things that ultimately they're going to be

Stephanie Lucas:

able to get home and get a fresh start with the family. And we're

Stephanie Lucas:

doing family therapy and, and parent coaching all throughout

Stephanie Lucas:

the week. So it's really intensive experience. But it can

Stephanie Lucas:

be a really wonderful reset for families who are just really

Stephanie Lucas:

struggling and in that survival mode.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Yeah, that's amazing. I mean, you know, your

Baaba Hawthorne:

program is just dedicated to providing equitable and

Baaba Hawthorne:

inclusive care. And that's so important when we're talking

Baaba Hawthorne:

about childhood trauma, because a lot of marginalized

Baaba Hawthorne:

communities do really experience a lot of trauma with within

Baaba Hawthorne:

their families and also without, so that you have staff and a

Baaba Hawthorne:

program that can help cater to the wonderful identities that

Baaba Hawthorne:

come through your doors is special, and very, very

Baaba Hawthorne:

important. So kudos to you and your team for doing such great

Baaba Hawthorne:

work.

Stephanie Lucas:

Thank you Well, and that's trauma informed care,

Stephanie Lucas:

right? If you think about like recognizing a child's identity

Stephanie Lucas:

and how important that is, and that they be received into a

Stephanie Lucas:

place that feels safe for them, maybe for the first time. so

Stephanie Lucas:

important and so meaningful, and just we love being able to

Stephanie Lucas:

provide that for. Okay, that was all over the country.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Yeah, amazing. Two snaps on that. I want to

Baaba Hawthorne:

shift gears and talk a little bit about structure and

Baaba Hawthorne:

boundaries. I know you're the setting that you work in, you're

Baaba Hawthorne:

able to provide that. How can parents and caregivers right,

Baaba Hawthorne:

provide that balance of structure and boundaries and the

Baaba Hawthorne:

need for flexibility when dealing with traumatized

Baaba Hawthorne:

children?

Stephanie Lucas:

Yeah, that's a great question. Oftentimes, when

Stephanie Lucas:

we see parents, and we're working from residential to

Stephanie Lucas:

transition home, they feel like the structure and boundaries

Stephanie Lucas:

that we want to set them up with are really rigid compared to

Stephanie Lucas:

where they've been. And it's also important to recognize a

Stephanie Lucas:

family, whether they have fluid or rigid boundaries, I think

Stephanie Lucas:

that can be traumatic in either direction, right? So a fluid

Stephanie Lucas:

boundary is like, Oh, no worries, we can change that like

Stephanie Lucas:

all the time, right? And then a rigid boundary is like never,

Stephanie Lucas:

you're always in bed by 8pm. And there is no exception to that. I

Stephanie Lucas:

don't care if you need to throw up. And so working with families

Stephanie Lucas:

on finding that really what's going to work well for them,

Stephanie Lucas:

right? Sometimes parents have their own mental health that

Stephanie Lucas:

comes into this, right, we have parents who are neurodiverse,

Stephanie Lucas:

sometimes they really need rigid boundaries, or they really

Stephanie Lucas:

struggle with holding rigid boundaries. And we really work

Stephanie Lucas:

with families to try and figure out what's going to work best

Stephanie Lucas:

for them, but also really creating that structure in the

Stephanie Lucas:

Casa model of creating really consistency. And I know

Stephanie Lucas:

predictability said Bob earlier is so important.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Yeah, yeah, extremely. I'd love your

Baaba Hawthorne:

segways. Here, Stephanie, making this conversation so rich and

Baaba Hawthorne:

full. I've been thinking top of mind around caregivers, right,

Baaba Hawthorne:

because our listeners most are parents, right, and caregivers

Baaba Hawthorne:

and really wanting them to feel very informed, hearing what

Baaba Hawthorne:

we're talking about, but also having some golden nuggets to

Baaba Hawthorne:

take away. And so back to our earlier point about you know,

Baaba Hawthorne:

helping to relieve some of the guilt that some parents and

Baaba Hawthorne:

caregivers can can feel around their kiddos having childhood

Baaba Hawthorne:

trauma, I want to talk a little bit about how parents and

Baaba Hawthorne:

caregivers can support themselves. Because let's just

Baaba Hawthorne:

take a moment to recognize that it is difficult. I mean, being a

Baaba Hawthorne:

human in this world is difficult. And then also being a

Baaba Hawthorne:

parent and a caregiver can have its challenges on top of having

Baaba Hawthorne:

a kiddo that has experienced trauma. And so I'm curious

Baaba Hawthorne:

around your take, and I'll share mine as well in terms of how can

Baaba Hawthorne:

parents or caregivers take care of their own well being while

Baaba Hawthorne:

supporting a child who is experiencing trauma?

Stephanie Lucas:

Well, we're biased, but we think all parents

Stephanie Lucas:

and caregivers should have a therapist.

Stephanie Lucas:

But going back to that sense of guilt, or it's not my fault,

Stephanie Lucas:

right, which is often the pushback that we hear when

Stephanie Lucas:

parents are saying, well, you know, I'm not the problem. My

Stephanie Lucas:

kids are problem and we don't want to say yes, you are the

Stephanie Lucas:

problem. That doesn't make any sense because this is a family

Stephanie Lucas:

system, right? But what we do want to say is that anyone

Stephanie Lucas:

supporting someone who's really struggling, deserve someone who

Stephanie Lucas:

can hear just their side. deserve someone who can hear

Stephanie Lucas:

them say This is not fair, right? Or I wouldn't have picked

Stephanie Lucas:

this story for myself and your kids, not the one to hear that.

Stephanie Lucas:

And maybe your partner's not the one to hear that. And your mom's

Stephanie Lucas:

not the one to hear that like that is the role of a therapist

Stephanie Lucas:

in that moment is to have a space just to say, the sucks,

Stephanie Lucas:

right? It's okay to have someone safe to say those things to you.

Stephanie Lucas:

My number one golden nugget,

Baaba Hawthorne:

definitely trying to think of another

Baaba Hawthorne:

Golden Nugget because that was exactly. But to your point, you

Baaba Hawthorne:

know, a little bit of, you know, background for me, I'm a

Baaba Hawthorne:

clinician first and foremost before I'm a clinical leader,

Baaba Hawthorne:

but in my residential background, that was the number

Baaba Hawthorne:

one question that I got is like, How can I help? Right? And when

Baaba Hawthorne:

I always addressed, you know, going to your own individual

Baaba Hawthorne:

therapy would be so helpful. I can't tell you how many times

Baaba Hawthorne:

people were like, no, no, no, anything else, but that. And so

Baaba Hawthorne:

I want to acknowledge that it can be really scary for parents

Baaba Hawthorne:

and caregivers to take time for themselves to do a lot of that

Baaba Hawthorne:

discovery. But if we break down, you know, several reasons or

Baaba Hawthorne:

contributing factors to trauma, intergenerational trauma is

Baaba Hawthorne:

real, right. So whether or not we can be conscious or

Baaba Hawthorne:

unconscious about that, that's something that is passed down

Baaba Hawthorne:

through generation to generation and to be aware of that, I

Baaba Hawthorne:

think, is really important. And so the best things that families

Baaba Hawthorne:

and caregivers can do, is really just take some time for

Baaba Hawthorne:

themselves and do the discovery work, right, like that is huge,

Baaba Hawthorne:

huge, huge, huge, huge, I think there is some understanding

Baaba Hawthorne:

around what your child is doing the work that they're doing,

Baaba Hawthorne:

that is really important to also a level of self awareness around

Baaba Hawthorne:

what's my stuff, and what's my kids stuff, because at times, it

Baaba Hawthorne:

can blur and become really, really messy. And to to get that

Baaba Hawthorne:

support that you need as a parent and caregiver while

Baaba Hawthorne:

supporting and you know, it sounds cheesy, we've all heard

Baaba Hawthorne:

it before. But it's so true. You can't pour from an empty cup.

Baaba Hawthorne:

And so parents and caregivers a really want to empower and, and

Baaba Hawthorne:

encourage you guys to find a way to get that support through

Baaba Hawthorne:

some, you know, mental health professionals to help pouring

Baaba Hawthorne:

because you're constantly pouring. And so we have to find

Baaba Hawthorne:

some way in some time to be able to pour back into you. So echo

Baaba Hawthorne:

underscore, I like highlight, exclamation point, exclamation

Baaba Hawthorne:

point, really going to take some time for yourself and doing that

Baaba Hawthorne:

self discovery and healing work.

Stephanie Lucas:

Your point really made me think about

Stephanie Lucas:

building a team, too, and made me reflect on a moment I had a

Stephanie Lucas:

few weeks ago. I have a child with disability. And so we have

Stephanie Lucas:

a real team of people who support her and our family. And

Stephanie Lucas:

we were chatting with a mom who had some concerns kind of about

Stephanie Lucas:

what was going on with the school program. And I all of a

Stephanie Lucas:

sudden saw myself in her eyes was like, oh, that's that fight

Stephanie Lucas:

like that's that teen that's that, like, Please support my

Stephanie Lucas:

kid I have felt to in my heart, right. And it can be so

Stephanie Lucas:

exhausting, and so hard to ask people who are in a professional

Stephanie Lucas:

role to say like, Please support my kid, please help our family

Stephanie Lucas:

because I need you to see us clearly. Right? And just

Stephanie Lucas:

encouraging parents who feel exhausted by that, who are

Stephanie Lucas:

trying to build this team and trying to find the right people

Stephanie Lucas:

keep going right because that team is going to be what keeps

Stephanie Lucas:

you afloat. It's going to be the school counselor and the

Stephanie Lucas:

outpatient counselor and the family counselor. And the peer

Stephanie Lucas:

coach and the best friend down the road and having a really

Stephanie Lucas:

diverse network is so much work and I really want to acknowledge

Stephanie Lucas:

that and in that moment when you really need it, it's going to be

Stephanie Lucas:

what catches you.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Yeah, they really does. It takes a village

Baaba Hawthorne:

right we keep hearing that and, you know, create, be creative

Baaba Hawthorne:

with your different types of villages. You know, you have

Baaba Hawthorne:

your educational village, right that helps support you know,

Baaba Hawthorne:

your kiddos with education, you have your mental health, your

Baaba Hawthorne:

physical health, right, like all of these are important and you

Baaba Hawthorne:

know, for some marginalized, marginalized communities, you

Baaba Hawthorne:

know, having that team is essential because some families

Baaba Hawthorne:

aren't safe to have that built in team so if it's not, you

Baaba Hawthorne:

know, grandma or auntie, uncle, cousins, etc, know that you can

Baaba Hawthorne:

handpick your team with some really trusted resources outside

Baaba Hawthorne:

and so, I know some you know, thinking about the black

Baaba Hawthorne:

community sometimes can be wary of, you know, different types of

Baaba Hawthorne:

providers. But, you know, the spiritual religious aspect is

Baaba Hawthorne:

like really important. And so when you were talking Stephanie,

Baaba Hawthorne:

I was thinking about, you know, working with them. and her team

Baaba Hawthorne:

was like everybody that went to church with her, right we had

Baaba Hawthorne:

the pastor, we had, you know, the children's like choir

Baaba Hawthorne:

leader, every single person, you know signing a release of

Baaba Hawthorne:

information for all those people to be a part of that. And so

Baaba Hawthorne:

really emphasizing that it, it takes a community to really not

Baaba Hawthorne:

be ashamed that you can't do it on your own. I think as humans,

Baaba Hawthorne:

we're not supposed to do life on our own. And more so raise kids,

Baaba Hawthorne:

and to be happy and healthy as we want them to be. It takes a

Baaba Hawthorne:

community and so definitely want to highlight that, don't be

Baaba Hawthorne:

afraid. If this is not a mark on you that you can't do it. Know

Baaba Hawthorne:

that you need support to that way you can take care of you.

Stephanie Lucas:

And that community is what builds

Stephanie Lucas:

resilience for our kids. Right. That's what the science teaches

Stephanie Lucas:

us, specifically with trauma is that kids who go through really,

Stephanie Lucas:

really traumatic situations, if they have even one caregiver who

Stephanie Lucas:

is attune to them, who they can depend on who they can rely on.

Stephanie Lucas:

And it could be the neighbor, it could be that teacher, it could

Stephanie Lucas:

be the choir director, right? That that person, if they can

Stephanie Lucas:

rely on them depend on them. Statistically, they're so much

Stephanie Lucas:

more likely to show resilience and move through that trauma in

Stephanie Lucas:

a healthy way. And recognizing that's true for us, too. It's

Stephanie Lucas:

that we have that person too. So building that community is how

Stephanie Lucas:

we move through trauma and being connected to each other is how

Stephanie Lucas:

we help our kids in their traumatic traumatized state.

Stephanie Lucas:

It's important for all of us.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Yeah, it sure is. I love that. Speaking a

Baaba Hawthorne:

little bit on the community. I know I touched on like

Baaba Hawthorne:

educational support during this time for our kiddos school is so

Baaba Hawthorne:

important, but like also like a huge, huge part of their time.

Baaba Hawthorne:

How can schools and educational institutions better support

Baaba Hawthorne:

children with a history of trauma? Right, and, and how can

Baaba Hawthorne:

parents collaborate with them effectively? I'm curious about

Baaba Hawthorne:

what your thoughts are on that stuff.

Stephanie Lucas:

Yeah, I think the number one thing schools can

Stephanie Lucas:

do is learn how to look through a trauma informed lens.

Stephanie Lucas:

Oftentimes, we hear, especially with fiber fours and IEPs

Stephanie Lucas:

language, like defiance, or behaviors that are identified as

Stephanie Lucas:

problematic or refusal. And if we look at it through a trauma

Stephanie Lucas:

informed lens, we realize that those are reactions to

Stephanie Lucas:

whatever's going on in here. Right? If they are having a

Stephanie Lucas:

difficult time because of a peer because of an experience,

Stephanie Lucas:

because they're experiencing panic attacks, how getting a

Stephanie Lucas:

school to start seeing that kid holistically, is so important,

Stephanie Lucas:

and starting to meet those baseline needs and recognize

Stephanie Lucas:

that school is very important. And if this kid is refusing or

Stephanie Lucas:

struggling in school, for whatever reason, if we don't

Stephanie Lucas:

know the reason, and we're just trying to like force a square

Stephanie Lucas:

peg into a round hole, that's not gonna work. And to try and

Stephanie Lucas:

really zoom out and look at that kiddo and see what's going on.

Stephanie Lucas:

From a holistic lens.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Definitely, I completely agree. And something

Baaba Hawthorne:

else that I always think about is having more mental health

Baaba Hawthorne:

presentations that are developmentally appropriate for

Baaba Hawthorne:

each age for the kiddos and for the teachers too, as well. So I

Baaba Hawthorne:

think about professional development, that I know a lot

Baaba Hawthorne:

of teachers have to go through. I'm curious how many of those

Baaba Hawthorne:

are centered around mental health for kids and their

Baaba Hawthorne:

development? Right, and don't think that they are a lot. And

Baaba Hawthorne:

they are, I think, coming from having those presentations be

Baaba Hawthorne:

centered around trauma informed care, what that looks like, what

Baaba Hawthorne:

to look out for behaviors from certain kids, I think that's

Baaba Hawthorne:

important to your point, shifting the language to be less

Baaba Hawthorne:

negative and more inclusive, right? Not always jumping for if

Baaba Hawthorne:

a kiddo is experiencing behavior issues, that they are defiant

Baaba Hawthorne:

to, you know, they're that diagnosis of oppositional

Baaba Hawthorne:

defiance disorder. I have some feelings about that. You know,

Baaba Hawthorne:

with that, it may not always be the case, that there may be

Baaba Hawthorne:

something underneath there. So some a lot more psychoeducation

Baaba Hawthorne:

for the teachers and the kids themselves so that they know Oh,

Baaba Hawthorne:

okay, when my stomach hurts, right before you know my

Baaba Hawthorne:

spelling test. This possibly is anxiety. Right. And to your

Baaba Hawthorne:

point, Stephanie talking about naming emotions for the kids,

Baaba Hawthorne:

they spend so much time at school. How about having them

Baaba Hawthorne:

learn that from their teachers and their peers and the

Baaba Hawthorne:

administrators around and so if I was president of the United

Baaba Hawthorne:

States It said that I would insane in our educational

Baaba Hawthorne:

institution is a lot more robust mental health, education and

Baaba Hawthorne:

support both for the kiddos and for the teachers as well. And

Baaba Hawthorne:

then more more mental health staff. I know some schools just

Baaba Hawthorne:

have like one school psychologist, that so

Baaba Hawthorne:

overwhelmed. And even then it's just focused on psychological

Baaba Hawthorne:

testing. And so not necessarily their mental and emotional

Baaba Hawthorne:

health, right. So I think that there should be one for each

Baaba Hawthorne:

grade, which would be helpful, if anything, if I could make it

Baaba Hawthorne:

up and one for each grade. But, you know, just expanding the

Baaba Hawthorne:

mental health support within the staff there, I think could

Baaba Hawthorne:

totally be useful. And then having teachers and mental

Baaba Hawthorne:

health staff collaborate. I used to work at an elementary school,

Baaba Hawthorne:

as a school based therapist, and I was really shocked at how

Baaba Hawthorne:

divided it was. And I took the onus upon myself to make sure

Baaba Hawthorne:

that I had coffee morning times with the teachers that my

Baaba Hawthorne:

clients were in their classrooms, to help give me a

Baaba Hawthorne:

picture because I wasn't in the classroom. But when something

Baaba Hawthorne:

was happening, they would send them directly to me. And so just

Baaba Hawthorne:

bridging that gap between educators and then the mental

Baaba Hawthorne:

health professionals that you know, either are contracted by

Baaba Hawthorne:

that school or on that campus, I think could be much more close

Baaba Hawthorne:

knit and tighter, as a wraparound, and that's truly

Baaba Hawthorne:

holistic care, right, making sure that we as the community

Baaba Hawthorne:

are really collaborating as much as we possibly can.

Stephanie Lucas:

Something that I've noticed when I step into

Stephanie Lucas:

the educational sphere is how much overlaps between PTSD and

Stephanie Lucas:

ADHD. And so sometimes there will be a parent or an educator

Stephanie Lucas:

who really thinks they have, you know, a lead on like, this kid

Stephanie Lucas:

has ADHD. But if you give a kid who has PTSD medications for

Stephanie Lucas:

ADHD, you are not going to get what you were hoping to

Stephanie Lucas:

accomplish are really going to ramp their system up, you're

Stephanie Lucas:

really going to increase their anxiety, you're really going to

Stephanie Lucas:

make it harder for them to sleep and even focus in school,

Stephanie Lucas:

getting really clear on what is trauma, right. And kids with

Stephanie Lucas:

ADHD have trauma too. And that's always formed by reading really,

Stephanie Lucas:

really clear on that diagnosis and slowing down and seeing the

Stephanie Lucas:

whole picture for a kiddo, especially if we're considering

Stephanie Lucas:

medications. Sometimes if a kiddo has a learning disability,

Stephanie Lucas:

it really presents behaviors and trauma because they've

Stephanie Lucas:

experienced not being able to do what their peers can do. They've

Stephanie Lucas:

experienced maybe having a teacher who has pointed them out

Stephanie Lucas:

is not good enough for having to be pulled from the classroom and

Stephanie Lucas:

feeling really embarrassed by that or pretending along for a

Stephanie Lucas:

while because they don't know what's wrong with them. Right.

Stephanie Lucas:

And some kids are really resilient with that. And some

Stephanie Lucas:

kids really internalize that idea that there's something

Stephanie Lucas:

wrong with them. And then when they don't want to go to school

Stephanie Lucas:

anymore. That's really teasing that out and taking the time to

Stephanie Lucas:

look at those things. And what's really going on with kiddos,

Stephanie Lucas:

especially in the education system is so important.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Yeah, definitely. I love that. Thank

Baaba Hawthorne:

you so much for highlighting that. And hopefully educators

Baaba Hawthorne:

who are also parents listening to this podcast, please be

Baaba Hawthorne:

listening, take action, you know, and I can my father is an

Baaba Hawthorne:

educator, he just, you know, retired after 41 years of

Baaba Hawthorne:

teaching. So education is really close to my heart. My fiance

Baaba Hawthorne:

just got his doctorate in education. So again, like that's

Baaba Hawthorne:

why I'm so passionate about education and mental health,

Baaba Hawthorne:

there's so much overlap. And when working with children, I

Baaba Hawthorne:

think it's something that we really should not be siloed I

Baaba Hawthorne:

think should really come together and be intertwined. So

Baaba Hawthorne:

those educators who are listening, those policymakers

Baaba Hawthorne:

who are listening, please let's let's find ways to integrate

Baaba Hawthorne:

mental health, trauma informed care into our educational

Baaba Hawthorne:

systems, institutions, classrooms, and and beyond.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Let's talk a little bit about resilience. I know it's been

Baaba Hawthorne:

coming up in our conversation throughout but Steph, if you can

Baaba Hawthorne:

just tell us a little bit about what exactly resilience is. So

Baaba Hawthorne:

maybe our listeners can really grasp that. And then we can also

Baaba Hawthorne:

talk about what role resilience plays in a child's ability to

Baaba Hawthorne:

recover from childhood trauma.

Stephanie Lucas:

Yeah, resilience is the it factor when

Stephanie Lucas:

it comes to kids and how well they do on a traumatic

Stephanie Lucas:

environment. It really comes down to does this kiddo have the

Stephanie Lucas:

ability to get back up and try again? Does this kiddo have this

Stephanie Lucas:

innate sense So I have I can get through this. But it's the idea

Stephanie Lucas:

that that, you know, kids who grew up in the exact same

Stephanie Lucas:

environment, some have a really difficult time with the same

Stephanie Lucas:

things that another kiddo can just kind of push through. And

Stephanie Lucas:

it's sometimes that old school mentality of like, we'll pull

Stephanie Lucas:

yourself up by your bootstraps, right? Or you can get through

Stephanie Lucas:

this you can push through. And resilience really speaks to the

Stephanie Lucas:

fact that there are so many factors involved on how a kid I

Stephanie Lucas:

was able to do that, and how a kid I was able to process what's

Stephanie Lucas:

going on for them. And if they have that innate resilience,

Stephanie Lucas:

they are going to be more successful in accessing those

Stephanie Lucas:

resources than a kiddo who may be really struggling and have

Stephanie Lucas:

some disadvantages, that beautifully said, Stephanie,

Baaba Hawthorne:

I think, you know, resilience is something

Baaba Hawthorne:

that like, we continue to talk about, but we don't quite sit

Baaba Hawthorne:

down and really want to understand it, but to assess

Baaba Hawthorne:

whether we have it because we just kind of live in a world a

Baaba Hawthorne:

culture and a Science Society where it's just go, go, go, go,

Baaba Hawthorne:

go, go go. And sometimes you feel like you have no choice,

Baaba Hawthorne:

but to keep going. And that's not necessarily resilience,

Baaba Hawthorne:

right? To your point, resilience is like whether or not I can

Baaba Hawthorne:

push through and overcome this. And you can, I think everyone

Baaba Hawthorne:

can foster it, and how important that is, in having a child heal

Baaba Hawthorne:

from childhood traumas, having the kid know that they can come

Baaba Hawthorne:

on out on the other side, if you've, you know, ever

Baaba Hawthorne:

experienced any sort of trauma or loss or you know, difficult

Baaba Hawthorne:

challenging time in your life, it feels like this is going to

Baaba Hawthorne:

last forever. And sometimes, you know, I, I like to use, like,

Baaba Hawthorne:

when I am practicing with clients, the lies that bind,

Baaba Hawthorne:

right, and these are like, the negative, you know, narratives

Baaba Hawthorne:

that we're creating. And so one of those things is, this is how

Baaba Hawthorne:

I'm gonna feel forever, I'm never gonna get through this,

Baaba Hawthorne:

like, that's a lie. Like, that is not true. And so if you think

Baaba Hawthorne:

about a kid who's experienced childhood trauma, and having

Baaba Hawthorne:

them tell themselves that or having them have a negative

Baaba Hawthorne:

narrative, that's really going to slow down their participation

Baaba Hawthorne:

in therapy, that's really going to, you know, slow down their

Baaba Hawthorne:

progress, not make them motivated to take the techniques

Baaba Hawthorne:

learned and implement them, right, there's so many,

Baaba Hawthorne:

essentially having a give up on themselves. And so that

Baaba Hawthorne:

resilience is definitely needed. And I think it starts with

Baaba Hawthorne:

having them know that they can get through this reminding them

Baaba Hawthorne:

constant on a consistent basis, right that, like, it's okay to

Baaba Hawthorne:

feel the way that you're feeling and just know that we're gonna

Baaba Hawthorne:

get through this, and we'll do this together and, and that

Baaba Hawthorne:

you're not alone so that they can really internalize that. And

Baaba Hawthorne:

so when they're out there in the world to remember that, like,

Baaba Hawthorne:

yeah, this to South shout, pass, in a sense. So I think it plays

Baaba Hawthorne:

a big part in childhood trauma.

Stephanie Lucas:

Yeah, I remember back in 2020, I'm not

Stephanie Lucas:

sure if you're familiar with that year. What are you thinking

Stephanie Lucas:

about, especially when we were starting the school year, again,

Stephanie Lucas:

I'm realizing that, you know, kids, we're not going to be back

Stephanie Lucas:

in the school and thinking, Gosh, this is going to be such a

Stephanie Lucas:

trial by fire for resilience, right? We're This is it, we're

Stephanie Lucas:

gonna have to decide, you know, every single day that we're

Stephanie Lucas:

resilient, and that we can get through this and that we can

Stephanie Lucas:

keep going. Even though we don't know the end, even though we

Stephanie Lucas:

don't know how it's gonna play out, even though it doesn't feel

Stephanie Lucas:

safe. And that was every day, and really thinking about

Stephanie Lucas:

trauma. I know so many parents now who are like, I don't know

Stephanie Lucas:

if my kids traumatized by COVID, right, probably. And like

Stephanie Lucas:

resilience is such a huge factor in that and that, you know, kids

Stephanie Lucas:

kids went through so much, and they're still unpacking so much

Stephanie Lucas:

of that. And we really want to support all of these kiddos and

Stephanie Lucas:

really kind of breaking down all of the many levels on which they

Stephanie Lucas:

had experiences that we hadn't prepared them for experiences

Stephanie Lucas:

that we couldn't promise them tomorrow is going to be

Stephanie Lucas:

different or better. And working through those things and

Stephanie Lucas:

starting to really access that resilience, again, in terms of

Stephanie Lucas:

recognizing how much they got through and how amazing they are

Stephanie Lucas:

for for overcoming all of those challenges at their age.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Definitely. So to your point, you know, if I'm

Baaba Hawthorne:

a parent or a caregiver, just really reminding my kids about

Baaba Hawthorne:

their own resilience, modeling my own, too, as well can really

Baaba Hawthorne:

help them overcome some of these difficulties and challenges that

Baaba Hawthorne:

they face in their lives. So shout out to all my listeners,

Baaba Hawthorne:

all our lawyers. You guys got this. You are resilient. What

Baaba Hawthorne:

you have is enough And just keep going, take a break, if you need

Baaba Hawthorne:

to, you know, my favorite analogy to use with clients is

Baaba Hawthorne:

that, you know, you're climbing up a mountain. And it's

Baaba Hawthorne:

important to sit and take a look at how far you've come. You

Baaba Hawthorne:

know, we're so focused on getting to the top, getting to

Baaba Hawthorne:

the top getting to the top. But if we don't kind of pause, take

Baaba Hawthorne:

a breath, and look at how far we've come, we're not going to

Baaba Hawthorne:

be as motivated to keep going, the journey is actually going to

Baaba Hawthorne:

start being more resentful. Because we are not acknowledging

Baaba Hawthorne:

how far we have come. So let's do that more. Let's continue to

Baaba Hawthorne:

acknowledge how far we've come. And I think, you know, children

Baaba Hawthorne:

really need that need that validation, but like, you know,

Baaba Hawthorne:

oh, my gosh, good job. That's great. Like, Yeah, yesterday,

Baaba Hawthorne:

you have a tantrum. But today, you did it. Awesome. You know,

Baaba Hawthorne:

like, what was different about today? What was helpful about

Baaba Hawthorne:

today, right? Like, what did you do differently? Oh, my gosh, you

Baaba Hawthorne:

did that all on your own? That's fantastic. Great job. How do you

Baaba Hawthorne:

feel? I'm proud of you? Are you proud of you, that just those

Baaba Hawthorne:

things can be really, really helpful to to boost their self

Baaba Hawthorne:

esteem, and also help support resilience. So let's talk a

Baaba Hawthorne:

little bit about I know, we touched on the cultural

Baaba Hawthorne:

implications and considerations when it comes to addressing

Baaba Hawthorne:

childhood trauma. I'm curious how can parents and caregivers

Baaba Hawthorne:

navigate these sensitively? I'm thinking more towards your queer

Baaba Hawthorne:

population that you work with in your residential facility, how

Baaba Hawthorne:

can parents learn how to navigate and support their

Baaba Hawthorne:

kiddos who identify, you know, as non binary, or trans or on

Baaba Hawthorne:

the queer spectrum that they're not quite familiar with?

Stephanie Lucas:

Yeah, there's kind of two different worlds

Stephanie Lucas:

that we get to juggle with that. And one is the every day, which

Stephanie Lucas:

is the use of language and the way that you're showing up with

Stephanie Lucas:

your words and being able to make a mistake and say, oops,

Stephanie Lucas:

sorry, correct yourself and keep moving, right? So important in

Stephanie Lucas:

those little tiny moments of saying, I can support you, I can

Stephanie Lucas:

figure out how to best be there with you in these tiny little

Stephanie Lucas:

moments. The other layer, the way I look at it is cultural,

Stephanie Lucas:

right? The LGBTQ community is a community and to help our kids

Stephanie Lucas:

even access that and to understand their own culture.

Stephanie Lucas:

And to understand their heritage and how far they've come as a

Stephanie Lucas:

community is really important, too. And being on the cutting

Stephanie Lucas:

edge of like, oh, actually, we stopped using that word, you

Stephanie Lucas:

know, I got associated with something that we those things

Stephanie Lucas:

always change. And I always hear people be like, oh, you know,

Stephanie Lucas:

changed again. And it's like, that's okay. And expressing that

Stephanie Lucas:

resilience, right? Oh, it's like, Yeah, yesterday, they were

Stephanie Lucas:

they them today. It's a he he him and, and that's okay. And

Stephanie Lucas:

I'll just keep rolling with it. And tomorrow, if you want to be

Stephanie Lucas:

a data model, I'll stream right back with Yeah, it just showing

Stephanie Lucas:

that you're there with them, you're gonna be right there

Stephanie Lucas:

alongside them, figuring it out with them, and that they don't

Stephanie Lucas:

have to have all the answers, and that they have a really

Stephanie Lucas:

beautiful community and a really beautiful culture to back them

Stephanie Lucas:

up and support them and help them feel like who they are.

Stephanie Lucas:

Curious about your perspective. I know you work with a lot of

Stephanie Lucas:

feelings of color.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Yes, definitely. I always come from

Baaba Hawthorne:

like the camp of like, let's celebrate culture. Because

Baaba Hawthorne:

everyone can celebrate anything, right? Celebration is fun. It

Baaba Hawthorne:

invites curiosity, there's something safe about it. And

Baaba Hawthorne:

there's conviction within celebrating, whether it's a

Baaba Hawthorne:

birthday, or a holiday, anniversary, whatever, like we

Baaba Hawthorne:

all enjoy celebrating. And so I always say let's find a way to

Baaba Hawthorne:

celebrate diversity within different cultures. So, you

Baaba Hawthorne:

know, for me working with families of color, it's really

Baaba Hawthorne:

learning how to understand the cultural implications to the

Baaba Hawthorne:

mental health. So each, you know, family culture will be

Baaba Hawthorne:

different within the black community or the AAPI community

Baaba Hawthorne:

or the Hispanic Latinx, community, etc. Really being

Baaba Hawthorne:

curious about what does this part of your culture mean to you

Baaba Hawthorne:

and how we can incorporate that in your mental health recovery

Baaba Hawthorne:

plan that I think is important and also, you know, working with

Baaba Hawthorne:

adoptive parents, parents who adopt and some parents who adopt

Baaba Hawthorne:

kids of color. I think, you know, it is important for them

Baaba Hawthorne:

to learn how to find ways to incorporate their kids culture,

Baaba Hawthorne:

even though it's not their culture. And so I've gotten a

Baaba Hawthorne:

chance to work with some, you know, white parents working with

Baaba Hawthorne:

who have adopted black kids. And you know, hair is something

Baaba Hawthorne:

that's important in the black culture, right. And so really

Baaba Hawthorne:

connecting them with the community and the resources,

Baaba Hawthorne:

right to a barber shop, or, you know, certain, like hair

Baaba Hawthorne:

products, right, that are really important. And, you know, that

Baaba Hawthorne:

way, it's a celebration and highlighting what is unique to

Baaba Hawthorne:

them, and allowing them to feel really excited about it. And so,

Baaba Hawthorne:

you know, that goes with, like religion, you know, culture is

Baaba Hawthorne:

not just race, ethnicity, or orientation, right? It's,

Baaba Hawthorne:

everyone has culture, you know, even Southern California, right,

Baaba Hawthorne:

Los Angeles, like, being by the beach, like, you know, our

Baaba Hawthorne:

clinic is, but five minutes away from Santa Monica. Like, there's

Baaba Hawthorne:

a beach culture, right? And there's the city culture, and so

Baaba Hawthorne:

really finding ways to highlight that and not shame that and

Baaba Hawthorne:

incorporate in there. And so really calling it out, I think

Baaba Hawthorne:

is something that's important to to be like, Hey, I've noticed

Baaba Hawthorne:

this, like, tell me a little bit more about that. And how can I

Baaba Hawthorne:

celebrate this with you today? Right, like, Oh, our family is

Baaba Hawthorne:

Catholic, and you decided to be agnostic, or, you know,

Baaba Hawthorne:

Buddhists. Okay, you know, let's learn how do we incorporate any

Baaba Hawthorne:

Buddhist celebrations into that? I think that it's a very non

Baaba Hawthorne:

threatening way to incorporate various cultures into into your

Baaba Hawthorne:

everyday lives. So yeah, be curious, and, and just

Baaba Hawthorne:

celebrate, celebrate people for who they are, how they present

Baaba Hawthorne:

to you, and how they want to continue to show up in the

Baaba Hawthorne:

world.

Stephanie Lucas:

My brain is synthesizing so many things we

Stephanie Lucas:

just talked about. I was thinking, Yeah, I mean, I was

Stephanie Lucas:

thinking about how growing up in a culture where you don't feel

Stephanie Lucas:

like you fit you use the hair as an example, right. And that's

Stephanie Lucas:

such a perfect example of like, if you just hadn't had that

Stephanie Lucas:

resource of getting connected to someone who can help you do your

Stephanie Lucas:

hair the way that you want to do it so that you feel like you,

Stephanie Lucas:

right? All of a sudden, we have a little T trauma, right? And

Stephanie Lucas:

we're not coming in saying like parents, how come you didn't do

Stephanie Lucas:

that? Right? It's just like, gosh, you didn't have that

Stephanie Lucas:

resource cache, maybe you didn't even know, she wasn't available

Stephanie Lucas:

to you. And then this kid also has a trauma because they grew

Stephanie Lucas:

up thinking, why is my hair different? Why doesn't my hair

Stephanie Lucas:

do what I want it to do? Why is no one taught me how to do this

Stephanie Lucas:

with my hair. And somebody from the outside might say, well,

Stephanie Lucas:

it's just hair, and somebody from the inside can see how much

Stephanie Lucas:

of your identity it's really impacted by that. And how our

Stephanie Lucas:

queer kids right, like grow up in a culture that isn't really

Stephanie Lucas:

accepting of queer kids. And those boundaries that we talked

Stephanie Lucas:

about earlier. Like, if they're too rigid, then that kid can't

Stephanie Lucas:

find a way to belong in their own culture. And that is

Stephanie Lucas:

traumatic, and that is difficult. And that is still so

Stephanie Lucas:

challenging to their identity. And so then we need to make a

Stephanie Lucas:

little more fluid boundaries of how can we still have you be a

Stephanie Lucas:

part of our family? How can we respect you within our family?

Stephanie Lucas:

How can we create space with you and belonging? which builds

Stephanie Lucas:

resilience? Yes. Go ahead.

Baaba Hawthorne:

I see what you're doing here. Every

Baaba Hawthorne:

everything full circle listeners, did you hear that?

Baaba Hawthorne:

Come on. I love it. I love it. I really, I really appreciate that

Baaba Hawthorne:

perspective. Because that also, like reminds me how important it

Baaba Hawthorne:

is just to like, make sure people know it's okay to ask.

Baaba Hawthorne:

You know, it's okay to ask questions. It's okay. And that's

Baaba Hawthorne:

where the curiosity comes from. You don't know what you don't

Baaba Hawthorne:

know. So it's really important to you know, ask your kids like,

Baaba Hawthorne:

How can I be a part of this and really be vulnerable and saying,

Baaba Hawthorne:

I don't understand, this is new for me or this is uncomfortable,

Baaba Hawthorne:

but I'm going to try to be honest, that's, that's what they

Baaba Hawthorne:

need. Just try not have to be perfect. I think just just

Baaba Hawthorne:

acknowledging that you want to be a part of it is really

Baaba Hawthorne:

important. Another thing that stands out to me about working

Baaba Hawthorne:

with, you know, families of color, I think there's a culture

Baaba Hawthorne:

where it's like we keep everything inside and we don't

Baaba Hawthorne:

share with others. So sometimes the community aspect within the

Baaba Hawthorne:

community can be difficult. And so you know, wanting to

Baaba Hawthorne:

encourage others or even everyone right to find ways to

Baaba Hawthorne:

empower your provider with information that is important to

Baaba Hawthorne:

you. So for example, if you know for Latin X community, you know,

Baaba Hawthorne:

food is really important in the culture at times and that's how

Baaba Hawthorne:

they show their love right through a lot of that I think,

Baaba Hawthorne:

you know, educating your or psychiatrist or mental health

Baaba Hawthorne:

professional or school that this is a big part of how we show

Baaba Hawthorne:

love this is a part of XYZ, that's also really important.

Baaba Hawthorne:

And so like letting providers I will speak, you know, for us

Baaba Hawthorne:

that like, we're open to hearing how we can best serve you and

Baaba Hawthorne:

your family. And when it comes from, or we have a different

Baaba Hawthorne:

culture than, you know, we are presenting, right? It's, it's

Baaba Hawthorne:

our responsibility as professionals to do our own

Baaba Hawthorne:

work, and to go out and seek those resources and to would

Baaba Hawthorne:

love to hear from, you know, the families, parents and caregivers

Baaba Hawthorne:

that we're working with, how can we acknowledge your culture, and

Baaba Hawthorne:

really, really bring it into treatment? And so I think that's

Baaba Hawthorne:

something that people don't hear often have, they think that, you

Baaba Hawthorne:

know, when working with, you know, mental health

Baaba Hawthorne:

professionals that they have all the answers, and also sometimes

Baaba Hawthorne:

intimidation when they don't have specific presentations that

Baaba Hawthorne:

match or mirror their own presentations, right. And so

Baaba Hawthorne:

that's why some, you know, families might only seek to look

Baaba Hawthorne:

for providers that might look like them, or have similarities,

Baaba Hawthorne:

you know, out of fear of not being understood, and to, you

Baaba Hawthorne:

know, to acknowledge that, like, all of us have been trained, and

Baaba Hawthorne:

all of us are open and willing to learn a little more about

Baaba Hawthorne:

what your specific culture look like, and how we can best

Baaba Hawthorne:

support that. So All righty, well, wrapping up here, my last

Baaba Hawthorne:

question to you is thinking about parents and caregivers

Baaba Hawthorne:

working together as a team. So still, in our community oriented

Baaba Hawthorne:

conversations we've been having, but this is more, you know,

Baaba Hawthorne:

within the family system. How can they parents and caregivers

Baaba Hawthorne:

work together to provide consistent support for a child

Baaba Hawthorne:

dealing with trauma?

Stephanie Lucas:

Yeah, so important, so helpful, so hard

Stephanie Lucas:

to do? Yes. I think you know, one of the biggest ways is

Stephanie Lucas:

sharing with each other, their experience of what's going on,

Stephanie Lucas:

if they are feeling frustrated, or overwhelmed, having somebody

Stephanie Lucas:

else in your corner, to be able to share that with can be so

Stephanie Lucas:

impactful. And then finding a way to kind of tap out and tap

Stephanie Lucas:

in when you are at your limit, having a partner to say like,

Stephanie Lucas:

you know what, I'm really triggered right now I feel

Stephanie Lucas:

trapped, I have to step out of this so that I'm not further

Stephanie Lucas:

damaging, you know, what's going on with her kiddo. And having

Stephanie Lucas:

somebody who's safe, to be able to do that with that part's

Stephanie Lucas:

hard, it's really hard to build that partnership. And it's

Stephanie Lucas:

actually really common that kids will land in residential, and

Stephanie Lucas:

then all of a sudden, their parents are having marital

Stephanie Lucas:

issues, because they were so focused on their kiddo that they

Stephanie Lucas:

weren't seeing each other, or that the conflict that was

Stephanie Lucas:

present in the marriage was kind of being shoved onto the kiddo

Stephanie Lucas:

because it kiddo was so cute. And so recognizing, you know, as

Stephanie Lucas:

a caregiving team, whether that's marriage or somewhere

Stephanie Lucas:

else, that that relationship is foundational to somewhere in the

Stephanie Lucas:

kit. And sometimes that means ending the relationship, if

Stephanie Lucas:

that's what the kiddo needs, for that best support, like we are

Stephanie Lucas:

supportive of all sorts of constellations. But the level of

Stephanie Lucas:

impact that that relationship has on a kiddo with trauma is is

Stephanie Lucas:

phenomenal. Yeah, definitely echo that, too.

Baaba Hawthorne:

I, I love how you highlight it, even if that's

Baaba Hawthorne:

means not staying together. That's something that is a

Baaba Hawthorne:

recurrent theme that I that I hear we're staying together

Baaba Hawthorne:

because of the kids are staying together because of the kids.

Baaba Hawthorne:

And what's happening is that the kids are miserable with, you

Baaba Hawthorne:

know, their caregivers or parents staying together, right.

Baaba Hawthorne:

And it's actually detrimental to their mental health. And so,

Baaba Hawthorne:

really taking a hard look at what is going to be helpful for

Baaba Hawthorne:

you. When that touches back to getting that individual therapy

Baaba Hawthorne:

support as a parent or a caregiver, getting that cup of

Baaba Hawthorne:

therapy, if that's something that's helpful is you know,

Baaba Hawthorne:

really working on yourself and that relationship outside of the

Baaba Hawthorne:

kid is what is going to be really really beneficial. So I

Baaba Hawthorne:

want to echo everything that you just said and highlight that the

Baaba Hawthorne:

relationship within your your team. Your caregiving team is

Baaba Hawthorne:

extremely important. Don't forget date nights, you know if

Baaba Hawthorne:

this is this is a partnership, right? Or or a marriage don't

Baaba Hawthorne:

forget that or, or brunches, right if it's a grandma and a

Baaba Hawthorne:

daughter that's, you know, supporting a kiddo. Right. Don't

Baaba Hawthorne:

forget, you know, Manny's and Petty's With with your mom,

Baaba Hawthorne:

right or if it's, you know, two sisters, you know, supporting

Baaba Hawthorne:

kids, their kids and raising them together, right? That's

Baaba Hawthorne:

important. Whatever you can do within the caregiving team to

Baaba Hawthorne:

strengthen and bond the relationship is really

Baaba Hawthorne:

important. And don't forget to have fun. This is stressful. It

Baaba Hawthorne:

as I mentioned in the beginning, you know, the journey can be

Baaba Hawthorne:

challenging. And, you know, forgetting that like, to have

Baaba Hawthorne:

fun, I think is something that is important to remember to keep

Baaba Hawthorne:

integrating back in is like, have a good time, don't feel

Baaba Hawthorne:

guilty that you're taking a couple hours off for yourself to

Baaba Hawthorne:

go see a movie or to go, you know, to a concert or go to a

Baaba Hawthorne:

birthday dinner. Those are the things that fill your cup. And

Baaba Hawthorne:

so maybe sharing that with other people as important to as well.

Stephanie Lucas:

Yeah, and as we touch in with like, the idea of

Stephanie Lucas:

trauma and the brain and I can nerd out for a minute out of you

Stephanie Lucas:

know, trauma continually returns us to those neural networks that

Stephanie Lucas:

tell us we're not safe, and we're not okay, and we're not

Stephanie Lucas:

good enough, right. But to also build the neural networks of

Stephanie Lucas:

life can be fun, life can be enjoyable, these are the people

Stephanie Lucas:

I feel connected to this is the place that I love to go is also

Stephanie Lucas:

trauma work, right? Going back to the beach every summer, if

Stephanie Lucas:

that's where you go and creating those routines and creating the

Stephanie Lucas:

places that feel safe and calm and creating the activities that

Stephanie Lucas:

feel enjoyable. All of that is also part of trauma work because

Stephanie Lucas:

we're working on those neural networks in the opposite

Stephanie Lucas:

direction, right and giving our brains an opportunity to access

Stephanie Lucas:

that joy.

Baaba Hawthorne:

Thank you so much. All righty. Well, this

Baaba Hawthorne:

concludes our podcast today talking about childhood trauma

Baaba Hawthorne:

for First off thank you so much Stephanie for being here being

Baaba Hawthorne:

my co host and but also the work that you are doing in your

Baaba Hawthorne:

amazing program at bend I know that the kiddos in the families

Baaba Hawthorne:

are really really appreciative and you guys are helping them to

Baaba Hawthorne:

get create joy and heal generations within themselves.

Baaba Hawthorne:

So thank you so much for for the work that you're doing. Thank

Baaba Hawthorne:

you it

Stephanie Lucas:

sounds like you have an amazing office down in

Stephanie Lucas:

LA and we're working really hard with families and marginalized

Stephanie Lucas:

communities to really build them up and create create healing

Stephanie Lucas:

generations

Baaba Hawthorne:

but um, see what we appreciate you so thank

Baaba Hawthorne:

you listeners so so much for for stopping by and taking this time

Baaba Hawthorne:

take care of you know that it's going to be okay and remind

Baaba Hawthorne:

yourself of your resilience each and every single day. Until next

Baaba Hawthorne:

time, Baaba Hawthorne and Stephanie Lucas over and out

Links

Chapters

Video

More from YouTube