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Childhood Trauma, Its Effects and Therapeutic Process Essay


An individual’s character is shaped by the biological factors as well as the surrounding external environment. The kind of life that one was exposed to (at childhood) goes ahead in determining the attitude, personality, and belief that the child will have. Trauma is an unpleasant experience that a person undergoes through in development. It can be from family, surrounding, and child care centers. There is hope because the condition can be rectified through therapeutic process. This paper looks into effects of child trauma and therapeutic process.

Child Trauma

Children, when growing up, encounter different experiences. These experiences on the other hand affect the kind of attitude; personality and belief which goes a long way in determining the kind of a person the child will be. Early age development affect the later life of a child if they are not looked into, they can affect the life of the child negatively. Children who have undergone childhood traumas are likely to have a distorted life in their adulthood. They are likely to think that a similar occurrence will repeat itself.

Some of the common traumas that children undergo through include rape, violence, and a hostile environment. It is important to understand the life that the child has been exposed to. The effect is physical, psychological as well as emotional traumas (Tiffany 2006).

The case of Rachel and Amanda

Rachel at the age of nineteen months saw her father murder her mother. This scene was recorded in his mind to a point that she feared the color red. This influenced the later life of the child and probably it is likely to affect her in later years. From the trauma that she experienced, she feared men and chances of her not getting a boyfriend or a husband are higher. On the other side, Amanda was a victim of domestic violence. She did not have peace at the noblest place that human beings get peace. Her life was affected by the experiences and was likely to suffer in adolescent and later life.

How would you describe the attachment relationships of these children with their primary caregivers and the impact of trauma on the attachment relationships?

The kind of exposure that a parent gives to his children determines how the children adult life will be. If a child is traumatized, then the effects are likely to follow him/her to adulthood. It affects his personality and attitude. Parents, day care centers, house girls, teachers and the society have for long been punishing children by inflicting pain, especially when the child has done what is believed to be wrong. This is done with the aim of ensuring that the child is disciplined and is meant as a legitimate punishment. However, the punishment is often excessive and thus an abuse. What is not excessive is subject to debate.

A family and society at large is an element of peace and comfort, what we do, what we talk, the environment that we live in creates a picture in a child’s mind that affects the mental stability of the child. It should be noted that a child’s mind is constantly learning and the surrounding of the child have a far reaching effect. In incidences of rape, the child is psychologically affected in its lifetime especially if counseling support is not given effectively.

Children learn mainly through interaction with other children through playing their various social games. This is a very important exercise in a child’s life but many parents worldwide have denied their children this important socialization process, it may be direct, where children are locked in the house or strictly forbidden from going outside. Others restrict their children on those that they are expected to play with. On the indirect perspective parents line up numerous duties to be performed by the child either homework or a never ending tuition, all these geared to deny a child free time (Mayers, 2005).

Trauma from a neurobiological perspective

Neurobiological perspective analysis the behavior and attitude of human beings from the memory that they keep from their previous experiences this on the other hand affects the personality that the child develops. Trauma affects internal working models, right brain development, stress response systems, collaborative communication, implicit and explicit memories. These are individual’s aspects that make him distinguished from the others.

It is also used to refer to a long lasting pattern of behavior that an individual portrays. Ones personality is the one that answers the following question or explain the following situations; why are some people terrified to talk in the public when other enjoy it?, why do some people involve in dangerous activities when others do not? Why do people react differently when faced by one condition or situation? The answer to all the above questions is the character that someone has that is different from the others (Kaplow, B. et al, 2006).

What made it so difficult for Rachel’s grandmother and Amanda’s mother to contain the children’s affect and assist them in regulating their emotions?

Experience gotten by Amanda and Rachel was from the people that they trusted most. This recorded in the memory of the children and changing ones unconscious mind is difficult. Secondly, the children could not trust anybody else since the one they trusted most failed them. According to Sigmund Freud Typology (psychoanalytic theory) an individual’s personality is based on the unconscious that is in everyone’s mind that determines the motivation that we are going to be influenced with. These are inborn traits that we have no control of and determine our lives. It describes that human personality is governed by the conflict between opposing motives, anxieties, unacceptable motives and defense mechanism that develop to prevent the anxiety from becoming any greater. Fraud based the personality on the view that personality is a pattern of behavior meant to resolve psychological conflict (Siegel, 1999).

Basic steps in the therapeutic process, the goals of treatment for Rachel and Amanda and describe changes that occurred

This is the process through which children experiences during early development are modeled to assist the child change his/her attitude which was created at childhood. This take the angle of counseling the child and devising mechanisms which will make the child appreciate that the experience she had at young age was only momentarily and life is not always the way he/she takes it.


  • To change the attitude of a traumatized child
  • To restore good relationship between a traumatized child and the family/care givers
  • To change a child’s perception on issues
  • Comfort the mind of the child.

It is a behavior modification strategy. It is appreciated that human beings develop a certain mode of behavior from factors arising from socialization right from childhood and these follow him to adulthood (Kaplow, B. et al, 2006).

Jane Greg and Nikko, how did their mothers’ histories interfere in their ability to develop secure attachment relationships?

The attitude and experiences that parent undergo is transmitted to a child. This is because the child learns from what is around. If he is in a hostile environment, of which a parent may be holding out of his past, then the child will be traumatized. Our values, beliefs and morals are largely influenced by the society we live in, culture, and hereditary factors. Societies have different mechanisms that are geared towards re-enforcing certain behavior deemed acceptable. However, as human beings interact with each other, change their lifestyle, or are compelled to change their mode of belief whether consciously or not, a behavior modification, which in most cases conflicts with previously instilled values, occurs.

How might you envision the influence of the mothers’ relational stress as young children on development of their internal working models, stress response systems, and memories?

A parent is emotionally attached to his/her child. If the parent is stressed, his child will be affected by the attitude and the way the parent conducts his or her affairs. A stressed person has no peace and is bitter with some things in his life. In this case he will transmit the bitterness to the child. A child from a stressed person has a slowed growth in right brain and succumbs to stress more easily.

His personality is affected. It takes the form of modification. The modification is conscious. Similar to when an individual enrolls in an institution with set rules and guidelines, they are unconditionally required to follow those rules. Similarly, in society, there are laws that are required to be followed, without question and institutions are set up to ensure that these laws are followed and that their dis-obedience is punished.

What was the key to unlocking the capacity of these young mothers to be “with their children, “to contain their feelings, comfort them and act as regulators of their emotions?

One of the way that makes the child secure is the existence of a caring adult, the child develop a sense of belonging. The first bonding is through the body scent of the mother. The scent of a mother gives the child a secure feeling if it knows that the parent is caring and always there for her or him. The early year bonding help the child in developing the sense of intimacy. This can be seen when a parent, especially a mother washing a baby boy, is washing the baby or even massaging it then gets aroused. The body of the child interpolates the touching and awakes her or his sense of intimacy.

Communication is developed at an early age; this is done through eye to eye contact with the child. This means a lot to the child as it learns on how to express itself using the eyes, later in life the child will take up the communication and the attribute of expressing itself in life. When the child expresses itself to the parent then it’s the best for the same and thus in later life it can choose who to share life issues with.

Sense of self esteem develops when a child feels cared for. This is through the early bonding stage and activities done to the child to relax it are important. A good example of one of the ways that a child feels cared for is by massaging the child. The child develops hope and self love.


The personality of an individual can be influenced by the internal surroundings that are the family, friends, and parental training. If a child undergoes trauma, he is likely to have a distorted life because the trauma he got is fresh in his mind. The external factors are social interactions, educational institutions, and church or other social groups. Your personality grows as you learn about “self, ” as you learn to be an individual with your own identity, as you begin to learn to accept responsibilities, as you learn to possess ideas and thoughts, you therefore learn to express your ideas, beliefs and thoughts, you begin to develop a personality. Therapeutic process is the process that a person who have undergone childhood trauma is cured and taught to change their attitude, perception, and belief to live a normal life.

Reference List

Kaplow, B. et al (2006). The Long-Term Consequences of Early Childhood Trauma: A Case Study and Discussion. Psychiatry 69(4).

Mayers, H. (2005). Treatment Of A Traumatized Adolescent Mother And Her Two-Year Old Son. Clinical Social Work Journal, Vol. 33, No. 4. Web.

Siegel, D.J. (1999). The developing mind: Toward a neurobiology of interpersonal experience. NewYork: Guilford.

Tiffany W.(2006). The Psychobiology of Maltreatment in Childhood. Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 62, No. 4, pp. 717—736.

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"Childhood Trauma, Its Effects and Therapeutic Process." IvyPanda, 12 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/childhood-trauma-its-effects-and-therapeutic-process/.

1. IvyPanda. "Childhood Trauma, Its Effects and Therapeutic Process." July 12, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/childhood-trauma-its-effects-and-therapeutic-process/.


IvyPanda. "Childhood Trauma, Its Effects and Therapeutic Process." July 12, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/childhood-trauma-its-effects-and-therapeutic-process/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Childhood Trauma, Its Effects and Therapeutic Process." July 12, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/childhood-trauma-its-effects-and-therapeutic-process/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Childhood Trauma, Its Effects and Therapeutic Process'. 12 July.

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