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Developmental Trauma Essay

Developmental trauma can affect children in a multitude of ways. One of the ways trauma affects a child’s functioning is attachment styles and relationship building (Ziegler, 2012). A child 's relationship with a caregiver is critical, especially in early life. Through these stable relationships with caregivers, children learn to build trust for others, regulate their emotions, and interact with the rest of the world. When relationships with caregivers and important figures are seen as unstable or unpredictable by the child, they start to believe they cannot rely on others (Bratsch-Hines, 2015). Children also start to change the way they view the world after being abused or exploited by a caregiver and may develop a negative perception of…show more content…
Studying developmental trauma is important in the realm of social work because it can give the social worker insight into why a child may be acting a certain way or why they view the world in a negative light. Social workers are often called in to assist those who have experienced some sort of trauma in their childhood to help them learn how to deal with the symptoms and behaviors that come as a result of trauma. Behaviors seen in children with developmental trauma include, but are not limited to, sleep disturbances, aggression, substance abuse, learning disabilities, trouble focusing, low self-esteem, and unhealthy attachments and relationships with others (Waters, 2000). Undetected developmental trauma presents as disruptive behavior in school, delinquent behavior in social settings, and abusive behavior in families and researchers are increasingly finding connections between childhood traumas and adult health and behavior (Feletti & Anda, 2009). As we become more aware of the complexity of interactions, health and social service agencies must become better trained to identify and address the issues within the systems in which we…show more content…
Not only does this trauma have an impact on the way that child views future relationships and themselves but it can also lead to re-victimization and possibly continuing the cycle of abuse (pp. 111). This work can be very difficult for a therapist because it requires a very open relationship with the client, a mutual respect, and willingness from the client to venture in to a vulnerable territory in order to heal and make a lasting change (pp. 111). In turn, the result of a better understanding of the interventions and their effectiveness should lead to more effective treatment and interventions for these
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